20 Inspirational Quotes for Teachers

Time to Get Inspired


Motivational quotes are something I always live by. There is nothing like seeing a set of encouraging words to get you through your school day! Here are 20 inspirational quotes that I hope make your day!


1. "Show up and make a difference!"


Why This Resonates With Me: Sometimes the hardest - but most important - thing you can do is just show up. Being there will always trump not being there, so whatever you're feeling, have the courage to show up. You'll be surprised what a difference it can make!


2. "Gold has its price; learning is beyond price.”


Why This Resonates With Me: This quote never fails to remind me why I chose this profession. Being able to teach is such a gift. Every day, I have the privilege of helping shape the next generation of leaders. The gift of education is invaluable!


3. "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

-Benjamin Franklin, an American statesman 

Why This Resonates With Me: Choosing to learn will never disappoint! Again and again, I relearn this. I love to share this quote with my students and get their opinion on what they think it means - give it a try!


4. "Everyone who remembers his own education remembers teachers, not methods and techniques. The teacher is the heart of the educational system.”

-Sidney Hook, an American philosopher

Why This Resonates With Me: This quote warms my heart! When I think back to being a young student, what I remember most fondly are the teachers who encouraged and inspired me. I hope my students will remember me the same way!


5. "Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.”

 -Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for female education

Why This Resonates With Me: Malala has always served as a source of inspiration for me. I encourage you to research her story if you're not already familiar with it! This particular quote hits home because it reminds me how much can be accomplished with so little. 


6. "A good teacher is like a candle – it consumes itself to light the way for others.”

-Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, a Turkish statesman

Why This Resonates With Me: The first time I read this quote, I read to read it again - such an impactful statement with so few words! Use this quote to teach your students about reframing their mindset.  


 7. "Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.”

-Kofi Annan, the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations

Why This Resonates With Me: Education should absolutely be a universal right! With education, we can start to break down even the highest walls. 


8. “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”

-Malcolm X, an American human rights activist

Why This Resonates With Me: Wow, this quote encompasses so many of my core beliefs. Taking the time today to learn is like packing a suitcase - it prepares you for the journey ahead. It's better to slow down and understand why and how things are done; this will ultimately help get you where you're going!


9. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

-Nelson Mandela, President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999

Why This Resonates With Me: Nelson Mandela has always been an idol for me since my school days. Nothing it stronger and more powerful than knowledge!


10. “The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards.”

-Anatole France, a French writer

Why This Resonates With Me: There's something quite beautiful to think about teaching as an art form - and it's true! It takes practice, skill and patience. You can use different techniques and methods... and when you master it... Wow - something incredible happens! A talented teacher is the product of a masterpiece. 


11. “Teaching emotional awareness, conflict management and social responsibility encourages students to become better human beings.”


Why This Resonates With Me: Lately, this is a quote I keep coming back to. Amidst a constantly changing version of "normal," it is so incredibly important to focus not just on the textbook lessons, but on the life lessons as well. I try to make it a priority in my classroom to give space to emotions. 


12. “Your lessons today can be passed on for generations. You aren’t just teaching your current students, but all of the people they will teach and interact with.”


Why This Resonates With Me: When I was in 3rd grade, I remember my teacher talking about the importance of taking responsibility for your actions. She told us an anecdote from her childhood and how she learned this lesson from her grandpa. At the time, I was in awe thinking about this lesson being passed down from person to person. It's a good reminder that our words can last a lifetime... or longer!


13. “In every lesson give yourself the opportunity to learn from the class in the same way that they learn from you.”


Why This Resonates With Me: This quote is a true gem because it reminds me that I learn just as much from my students as they do from me!


14. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

-Arthur Ashe, American tennis player

Why This Resonates With Me: A thousand times over, yes! It's so important not to get stuck on what you don't have and focus on what you do. Ultimately, my students don't care about a fancy activity; they're just happy to be involved, having fun and learning. 


15. “Either you run the day or the day runs you.”

 -Jim Rohn, American entrepreneur

Why This Resonates With Me: Who doesn't need a good pick-me-up every now and again?! I turn to this quote when I need a self-confidence boost. It helps me remember that I am in control and have the power to change the course of my day!


16. “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”

-Zig Ziglar, American author

Why This Resonates With Me: This quote - 100%! I share this with my students all the time. It's never JUST about what you're able to do, but it's HOW you do it. A positive attitude will win all day, every day. 


17. “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.”

-Andy McIntyre, Australian rugby union player

Why This Resonates With Me: Perhaps a bit on the harsh side, but truth is truth! I like this quote because sometimes we all need to remember that it's important not to cut corners. 

18. “The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn …and change.”

-Carl Rogers, American psychologist

Why This Resonates With Me: Yes! My mother would always teach me how to do something rather than just doing it for me. She would tell me, "if I teach you once, you'll learn for a lifetime." It used to frustrate me but now I'm so thankful for this lesson. 


19. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”

-Mark Twain, American author

Why This Resonates With Me: Baby steps are always the way to go. When I'm feeling overwhelmed thinking about the task at hand, I always try to break it down into simple, small actions. By the time I'm done, I'm amazed I what I was able to accomplish!


20. “Have you ever been at sea in a dense fog, when it seemed as if a tangible white darkness shut you in and the great ship, tense and anxious, groped her way toward the shore with plummet and sounding-line, and you waited with beating heart for something to happen? I was like that ship before my education began, only I was without compass or sounding line, and no way of knowing how near the harbor was. “Light! Give me light!” was the wordless cry of my soul, and the light of love shone on me in that very hour.”

-Helen Keller, American author

Why This Resonates With Me: Saved one of my favorites for last! Education is the light in my life. When things start to feel dark and gloomy, I think about how fortunate I am. This is why I chose to teach! I want to spread my light to others.