Quotes & Poems

52 of our favorite inspirational quotes for teachers

“The nature of relationships among the adults within a school has a greater influence on the character and quality of that school and on student accomplishment than anything else. If the relationships between administrators and teachers are trusting, generous, helpful, and cooperative, then the relationships between teachers and students, between students and students, and between teachers and parents are likely to be trusting, generous, helpful, and cooperative. If, on the other hand, relationships between administrators and teachers are fearful, competitive, suspicious, and corrosive, then these qualities will disseminate throughout the school community.”
-Roland Barth

To Be of Use
The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
The black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half-submerged balls…

I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.
Marge Piercy

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvellous error!—
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.
~Antonio Machado

Our light goes out
But is blown again
Into a flame by an encounter
With another human being
Each of us owes our deepest thanks
To those who have rekindled
This inner light
~ Albert Schweitzer

Fear passes from man to man
As one leaf passes its shudder
To another.
All at once the whole tree is trembling.
And there is no sign of the wind
by Charles Simic

“If we always do what we’ve always done, we will get what we’ve always got.'”
~Adam Urbanski

The work will wait while you show the child the rainbow, but the rainbow won’t wait while you do the work. (Anonymous)

“Organizations break down, despite individual brilliance and innovative projects, because they are unable to pull their diverse functions and talents into a productive whole.” – Peter Senge

“Fulfillment from work is the result of application, dedication, and indispensable sense of humor, and above all a never ending conversation with ourselves, those whom we work, and those whom we serve.“- David Whyte

“If we are teaching the children today what we were taught yesterday, then we are robbing them of tomorrow.”
John Dewey from Chapter 6: Creating the Future from A World-Class Education

Collaborators aren’t born they’re made…through practice, through attention, through discipline, through passion and commitment–and, most of all through habit.” – Twyal Tharp, Choreographer

“And time for reflection with colleagues is for me a lifesaver;
it is not just a nice thing to do if you have the time.
It is the only way you can survive.”
Margaret J. Wheatley

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” ~ Helen Keller

Our lives are performances – each of us starring in a play we call our own. Essence is not just who you are. It is who you are with other people. In the end, all collaborations are love stories.” – Twyla Tharp

Everyone adds something to a situation by their actions and words. The very first things said or done, will quickly decide what happens next, positive or negative. Be patient and empathetic, and the direction usually goes positive. “ – Gary Rudz

“When all is said and done, the only change that will make a difference is the transformation of the human heart.” – Peter Senge

“One of the most beautiful gifts in the world is the gift of encouragement. When someone encourages you, that person helps you over a threshold you might otherwise never have crossed on your own.”
~ John O’Donohue

When unsure, ask yourself: Is this a matter of consequence? It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
~ Antoine de Saint Exupéry

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. “ – Carl Jung

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
~ Maya Angelou

“Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.”
~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.
~Joseph Campbell

“When someone really listens to me, I feel affirmed, and if I really listen in return, I reciprocate this affirmation.” ~ Thomas Beech, CEO Fetzer Institute

The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.
~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

I believe we can change the world if we start listening to one another again…If we have simple truthful conversation where we each have a chance to speak, we each feel heard, and we each listen well.
~ Margaret Wheatly

The little things.
The little moments.
They aren’t little.
~ Jon Kabat-Zinn

“I am larger and better than I thought, I did not think I held so much goodness.” ~ Walt Whitman

I live my life in widening circles
That reach out across the world.
Rainer Maria Rilke

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