Inspirational Quotes for English Teachers

Krystal DeVille

Inspirational Quotes for English Teachers

English teachers work tirelessly to inspire our young people and shape the future of the world through them.

At times this load can get heavy, and you may need some inspiration of your own, so I have compiled a list of some of the best quotes for English teachers to get you through your day.

After each quote, I give my thoughts on what it means to me and some key takeaways.

English Quotes on Fostering a Love of Learning

“What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to a human soul.” ― Joseph Addison

Unlike the great sculptors of the past, teachers do not dedicate their entire lives to the refinement of a single block of marble. Rather, a teacher dedicates themselves to helping each student that walks through their doors in the discovery of their own masterpiece and waits to see the finished product with bated breath. 

“Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.” ― William Butler Yeats

A great education does not result in the ability to recite dates and statistics perfectly but rather in the desire to learn more.

Great English teachers instill a love of learning and discovery in their students, knowing that the young people they teach today will grow into the pioneers of tomorrow.

“You can teach a student a lesson for a day, but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.” ― Clay P. Bedford

The largest impact made on me by my former teachers is not the substance of the lessons they taught, but the love of learning I have to this day.

A teacher that teaches you the lesson plan gives you knowledge; a teacher that teaches you a love of learning gives you the world.

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“What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.” ― George Bernard Shaw

Teachers have a special way of making students want to learn more, more, and more. Teachers are not there to force the child to memorize the answer but rather to have them on the edge of their seats ready for the next problem.

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.” ― Margaret Mead

The best lesson a teacher can give is not on anything that will ever be on a test. The best lesson is learned over many years, and it shows you how to think and discover for yourself. 

Quotes About Teaching 

“Teaching is the greatest act of optimism.” ― Colleen Wilcox

Teaching is not a profession for those who are easily discouraged; every day will present a new challenge, but seeing the fruits of your labor actualized is worth the effort.

Those who succeed are those that are constantly looking forward, anxious to see what the next day will bring.

The feeling of teaching is one that can’t be described. To see the look in a student’s eye when they finally understand a concept that they were having difficulty grasping is priceless.

“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.”  ― Mark Van Doren

Teaching is not only about providing answers to the millions of questions that are thrown your way each day. The true testament of a teacher’s abilities lies in their ability to assist their students in forging their own path and seeing what wonders their students will discover.

“The best teachers are those who show you where to look but don’t tell you what to see.” ― Alexandra K. Trenfor

Good teachers are able to give answers to problems and show the solution, but truly great teachers teach you how to find those answers yourself. Knowing how to do that opens a new realm in which anything is possible. 

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“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” ― William A. Ward

It only takes a spark to light a forest fire, and it only takes the right question to change the world. Great teachers leave kindling everywhere they go, and show their students how to light the match.

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

This is one of my favorite quotes, especially for English teachers. Not everyone has the ability to spark curiosity, yet teachers seem to have this skill ingrained within them. They show their students that the search for knowledge is not a grueling trek, but rather a joyous adventure.

Funny Teacher Quotes

“The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called ‘truth’.” ― Dan Rather

Great teachers will often shake your entire world, putting cracks in the foundations of everything you believe in until your world comes crashing down.

What you don’t see in the moment are the supplies they are providing you, and the helping hand waiting to assist you in rebuilding to greater heights. 

“If you can stand in front of groups of restless students every day and come through it unscathed, you can do anything!” ― Kirsty Murray

Let’s not mince words – teachers are superheroes!

Teaching kids is difficult; I don’t know many people who could regularly stand in front of high school kids and keep them engaged for eight hours a day, while also having them leave with more knowledge than they came with. They really can do anything!

A teacher’s job is to take a bunch of live wires and see that they are well-grounded.” ― Darwin D. Martin

While I’m sure teachers occasionally (often) feel like one of those live wires has lit their hair on fire, they continue to persevere and shape the lives of our students. Teaching is hard work, and they all deserve praise for their efforts.

“A very wise old teacher once said: I consider a day’s teaching wasted if we do not all have one hearty laugh.” ― Gilbert Highet

As difficult as it may be at times, don’t forget that at the end of the day, learning and the pursuit of knowledge should be fun!

Take a moment to enjoy the little things – you deserve it!

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“Teachers can change lives with just the right mix of chalk and challenges.” ― Joyce Meyer

While it may take more than a bit of chalk the sentiment remains – teachers do change lives. There are few people who can not think of a teacher that made them question their current path and then helped them create a new one. 

Motivational Teacher Quotes

“Teachers, I believe, are the most responsible and important members of society because their professional efforts affect the fate of the earth.” ― Helen Caldicott

Teachers are often overworked and underpaid, and with that can come the question: Am I really making a difference?

The answer to this echoes in the cures researchers discover for diseases, in the leaders negotiating for peace, and in the footprints tread on the moon. None of this would be possible without the tireless work of our educators.

“The object of education is not to fill a man’s mind with facts; it is to teach him how to use his mind in thinking.” ― Henry Ford

As a teacher, you are not only teaching your students what is written in their textbook, you are teaching them how to process the world around them. While many people may not use the Pythagorean theorem after high school, the lessons in learning to process the world will stay with them forever.

”A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” ― Henry B. Adams

The number of lives a teacher touches is endless due to the ripples of their influence spreading to unseen shores. Even if only one life is changed directly, that life will impact many more, and the ripples will echo on forever.

“Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.” ― Confucius

Education is the first step toward progress. Teachers are on the frontline driving the world forward through the inspiration they impart to their students, and bringing hope to the future.

“Every child deserves a champion—an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.” ― Rita Pierson

Teachers are in the position to personally touch the lives of more young people than anyone else. With this honor comes an immense responsibility to be a bastion of safety and support for the students who pass through your doors.

Quotes from Literary Heroes on Teaching

“I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. It might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.” ― John Steinbeck

The great artists of the ages are given praise and accolades around the world, while many of the greatest teachers are only known by a few.

Yet while the artists will leave an impact on the minds of people, the teachers will change the world itself.

“A teacher who loves learning earns the right and the ability to help others learn.” ― Ruth Beechick

Teachers are those who love learning so much that it overflows to others. This love of learning is then instilled within their students through example.

“I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” ― Robert Frost

Teachers are those who awaken something in their students. Every student has a different passion within them waiting to be discovered, and a great teacher will help their students to find that passion be it art, medicine, or something is not yet known to the world.

“The test of a good teacher is not how many questions he can ask his pupils that they will answer readily, but how many questions he inspires them to ask him which he finds it hard to answer.” ― Alice Wellington Rollins

Teaching students is one thing, but inspiring them is another. A great teacher will inspire students to the degree that their thirst for knowledge surpasses their own understanding. 

“One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.” ― Carl Jung

Teachers are responsible not only for the minds of their students but for their hearts.

They are able to nurture the souls of those in their care and shape them for the rest of their lives. Think of the teacher that made you want to teach, and strive to be the same for someone else.

Inspirational Teacher Quotes

“A good teacher is like a candle—it consumes itself to light the way for others.” ― Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

We all owe a great debt to the teachers that have shaped us, the teachers that put their blood, sweat, and tears into making us who we are today. It takes a special type of person to give their all year after year in the service of shaping the youth of the future and through them, the world.

“Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” ― John C. Maxwell

Being an amazing teacher is not only about ensuring the students learn; it’s also about ensuring they feel comfortable making mistakes while learning. Students will open up and engage in ways never seen when they feel supported, and in the process, a new world will open to them.

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

So many of the world’s problems are due to a lack of understanding – understanding of the world around us, understanding of others’ viewpoints, and understanding of who you are as a person.

Education is the first step toward a greater understanding which then snowballs into active change. Teachers are the ones packing the snow that starts in this journey.

“One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world.” ― Malala Yousafzai

No action, person, or moment is too small to leave a lasting impact. Each day contains thousands of moments in which you are impacting your students’ lives and through them, changing the world.

“The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life.” ― Plato

Education is the cornerstone from which a person is built. Teachers labor over each child’s cornerstone before sending them into the world with the best foundation they can create.

Teaching is one of the most rewarding jobs there is, but with the struggles that come with being a teacher it can be easy to lose sight of the impact you are having. I hope these quotes brought a smile to your face, and helped to remind you why you started teaching in the first place.

You may sometimes feel like you’re doing too much or not enough, but remember ―

”The fact that you worry about being a good teacher, means that you already are one.” ― Jodi Picoult

Wrapping Up Inspirational Quotes for English Teachers

English teachers and teachers, in general, have the power to not only convey knowledge but also inspire and lead their students. Quotes can be a great source of motivation for teachers on the days when they feel drained or unmotivated.

By reflecting on inspirational quotes, teachers can gain insight, stay encouraged and pass these feelings on to their students. As a result, teachers and students alike can stay inspired and motivated throughout the year.

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