Each Monday over the past year I have put an educational ‘Quote of the Week’ up in the staff room. We refer to it in morning briefing and it stays up for the week. It seems to have been helpful: colleagues mention it, the quotes are sometimes reproduced around the school and I now get suggestions for ones we could use. I was pleased to find that several colleagues had mentioned being inspired by the quotes in our independent staff well-being survey.
A quote for each week
Here then are the quotes we’ve used over the past 38 weeks of the school year. I hope you find them helpful. I think they are all accurate and correctly attributed but please let me know if you spot any errors and I’ll correct them. I’d also love to hear suggestions of other inspiring educational quotes.
1. Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.
2. The most valuable resource that teachers have is each other. Without collaboration our growth is limited to our own perspectives.
Robert John Meehan
3. The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character: that is the goal of true education.
Martin Luther King
4. Faith and Reason are like two wings of the Human spirit by which it soars to the truth.
John Paul II
5. Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is best.
6. Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is most important.
7. Education is the movement from darkness to light
8. It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.
9. What nobler employment than to instruct the rising generation?
10. Good teaching is more a giving of right questions than a giving of right answers.
11. Education is a better guard of liberty than a standing army.
12. Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel. Plutarch
13. Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it.
14. A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.
15. Walk with your feet on Earth but your heart in heaven.
St John Bosco
16. Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.
17. Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them become what they are capable of becoming.
18. It is not that I am so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.
19. Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that ‘curiosity killed the cat’ I say only that the cat died nobly.
20. A key purpose of schools is to teach the futility of hate and the power of love.
21. Culture does not consist of acquiring opinions but in getting rid of them.
William Butler Yeats
22. Quand tu veux construire un bateau, ne commence pas par rassembler du bois, couper des planches et distribuer du travail, mais reveille au sein des hommes le desir de la mer grande et large.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
(If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.)
23. I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.
24. The calling of the teacher. There is no craft more privileged. To awaken in another human being powers, dreams beyond one’s own; to induce in others a love for that which one loves; to make of one’s inward present their future; that is a threefold adventure like no other.
25. Only the educated are free.
26. Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.
27. Every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story
28. Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
29. If kids come to us from strong, healthy functioning families, it makes our job easier. If they do not come to us from strong, healthy, functioning families, it makes our job more important.
30. If you don’t stand up for something, you fall for anything.
Public Enemy (from Harder than you think I think this may be a quote from Malcolm X)
31. I would rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right!
32. No Matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment
33. Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.
34. Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.
35. My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
36. You can never be overdressed or overeducated.
37. Teaching is the highest form of understanding.
38. Merry Christmas everybody!
Finally, here’s a few lined up for 2015:
Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilized by education; they grow there, firm as weeds among rocks.
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.
For the best return on your money, pour your purse into your head.
What we want to see is the child in pursuit of knowledge, not knowledge in pursuit of the child.
George Bernard Shaw
Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.
Note: I wrote this post in December 2014 when I was working as Vice Principal at an Oxford secondary school. Since then, I have added to this first collection of quotes in a series of further posts. You can find links to these posts below; I hope you find them helpful.