Teacher Quotes and Sayings

Humorous and thought-provoking quotes about teachers and the teaching profession are perfect for teacher gifts, greeting cards, and daily inspiration.


Teacher quotes and sayings can illuminate some thoughtful insight about a profoundly important profession, which is often very difficult or even disheartening. Humorous quotes about teaching will perhaps help a teacher get through a tough day. Inspiring quotes can motivate an instructor to forge ahead, continuing to give invaluable help to difficult students in need.

Quotes about teaching come from famous figures in history, obscure people in modern times, or a combination of both. Regardless of who said these funny and poignant proverbs, they all share one common thread: each quote has a ring of truth about it. Teachers, parents, and students can be inspired by these great words of wisdom.

Good teacher quotes

1 teacher quotes

A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning. ~Brad Henry

2 teacher quotes

A good teacher is a determined person. ~Gilbert Highet


Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, caliber, and future of an individual. If the people remember me as a good teacher, that will be the biggest honour for me. ~A. P. J. Abdul Kalam


Experience is a good teacher, but she sends in terrific bills. ~Minna Antrim


The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. ~William Arthur Ward


That is the difference between good teachers and great teachers: good teachers make the best of a pupil’s means; great teachers foresee a pupil’s ends. ~Maria Callas

3 teacher quotes

Good teachers know how to bring out the best in students. ~Charles Kuralt


Of all the hard jobs around, one of the hardest is being a good teacher. ~Maggie Gallagher


A good teacher, like a good entertainer first must hold his audience’s attention, then he can teach his lesson. ~John Henrik Clarke


I cannot emphasize enough the importance of a good teacher. ~Temple Grandin


Inspirational Teacher Quotes


“If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.” ~Kahlil Gibran on teaching


“Draw yourself up to your full height, look anybody squarely in the eye, and say, I am a teacher.” ~William G. Carr

4 teacher quotes

“The greatest job of teachers is to cultivate talent until it ripens for the public to reap its bounty.” ~Jascha Heifetz


“If I had a child who wanted to be a teacher, I would bid him Godspeed as if he were going to a war. For indeed the war against prejudice, greed and ignorance is eternal, and those who dedicate themselves to it give their lives no less because they may live to see some fraction of the battle won.” ~James Hilton


“Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition.” ~Jacques Barzun


“It is the province of knowledge to speak and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.” ~Oliver Wendell Holmes


“I don’t see a class as one unit sitting and listening to me. There are faces showing degrees of interest or indifference. It’s the indifference that challenges me.” ~Francis (Frank) McCourt

5 teacher quotes

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. ~William A. Ward


If I can make a teacher’s salary doing comedy, I think that’s better than being a teacher. ~Dave Chappelle


The influence of teachers extends beyond the classroom, well into the future. ~F. Sionil Jose

6 teacher quotes

There are two kinds of teachers: the kind that fill you with so much quail shot that you can’t move, and the kind that just gives you a little prod behind and you jump to the skies. ~Robert Frost


The teacher is the one who gets the most out of the lessons, and the true teacher is the learner. ~Elbert Hubbard


A teacher who is not dogmatic is simply a teacher who is not teaching. ~Gilbert K. Chesterton


Teaching is the only major occupation of man for which we have not yet developed tools that make an average person capable of competence and performance. In teaching we rely on the ‘naturals’, the ones who somehow know how to teach. ~Peter Drucker


Teachers affect eternity; no one can tell where their influence stops. ~Henry Brooks Adams
You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room. ~Dr. Seuss


Teaching is a calling too. And I’ve always thought that teachers in their way are holy — angels leading their flocks out of the darkness. ~Jeannette Walls


A good teacher is like a candle – it consumes itself to light the way for others. ~Mustafa Kemal Atatürk


The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind. ~Khalil Gibran


Teachers, I believe, are the most responsible and important members of society because their professional efforts affect the fate of the Earth. ~Helen Caldicott


Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well. ~Aristotle


So what does a good teacher do? Create tension — but just the right amount. ~Donald Norman


I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well. ~Alexander the Great


I will venture to maintain that where the teacher is not pleasing to the pupil, there is no education. ~Xenophon


True teachers use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross; then, having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create bridges of their own. ~Nikos Kazantzakis


If you have to put someone on a pedestal, put teachers. They are society’s heroes. ~Guy Kawasaki


Experience is the teacher of all things. ~Julius Caesar


It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. ~Albert Einstein


The older I got, the smarter my teachers became. ~Ally Carter


Teachers are our greatest public servants; they spend their lives educating our young people and shaping our nation for tomorrow. ~Solomon Ortiz


The true teacher defends his pupils against his own personal influence. ~Amos Bronson Alcott


Everybody who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching. ~Oscar Wilde


The duties of a teacher are neither few nor small, but they elevate the mind and give energy to the character. ~Dorothea Dix


Good teachers know how to bring out the best in students. ~Charles Kuralt


Travel stories teach geography; insect stories lead the child into natural science; and so on. The teacher, in short, can use reading to introduce her pupils to the most varied subjects; and the moment they have been thus started, they can go on to any limit guided by the single passion for reading. ~Maria Montessori


Everyone who remembers his own education remembers teachers, not methods and techniques. The teacher is the heart of the educational system. ~Sidney Hook


More inspirational quotes

Funny Quotes About Teaching


“The best teacher of children, in brief, is one who is essentially childlike.” ~H. L. Mencken


“A father who wants his children to get an education these days may have to pull a few wires – the television wire, the hi-fi wire and the radio wire.” ~Lavonne Mathison


“This is the situation in the public schools of America: The farther you travel from the classroom the greater your financial and professional rewards.” ~Francis (Frank) McCourt


“Teachers are the only professionals who have to respond to bells every forty-five minutes and come out fighting.” ~Francis (Frank) McCourt


“Some people talk in their sleep. Lecturers talk while other people sleep.” ~Albert Camus


“The trouble with present-day education is that it covers the ground without cultivating anything in it.” ~E. N. Ferris


“To be good is noble, but to teach others how to be good is nobler – and less trouble.” ~Mark Twain

More funny quotes

How to Use Teacher Quotes and Sayings

These thoughtful or funny proverbs can be used for an end of year or holiday teacher gift, or can be the inspiration for a wonderful poem or thank you letter from a student or parent to a special teacher. Teacher quotes can also be a starting point for a budding creative writer or literary artist to compose an essay on the merits (or perils) of teaching.

Another idea would be to use a thought-provoking teacher quote or two on a homemade calendar that contains meaningful, touching pictures of students throughout the school year. However these motivating quotes and sayings are used, they will surely provide a smile, an inspiration, and even perhaps some reassurance for a teacher who might need it.


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