There are seemingly endless quotes for educators – ones you can use as a journal prompt, or post on your wall, make the screensaver on your desktop, or repeat to yourself as a mantra of sorts as you come to school each day. Here are a few of my favorite quotes for educators.
YOU come first. No, really – you do.
These quotes for educators focus on YOUR wellness – and putting your own oxygen mask on first.
- “Taking care of yourself is part of taking care of others.”
2. “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
3. “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”
4. “Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”
5. “I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.”
6. “In dealing with those who are undergoing great suffering, if you feel “burnout” setting in, if you feel demoralized and exhausted, it is best, for the sake of everyone, to withdraw and restore yourself. The point is to have a long-term perspective.”
Connecting with Kids
Connecting with kids is core to what we do – here are more educator quotes with that focus.
7. “Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
8. “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.“
9. “Beneath every behavior is a feeling. And beneath every feeling is a need. And when we meet that need rather than focus on behavior, we begin to deal with cause and not the symptom.“
10. “If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.”
Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Estrada
11. “When you counsel someone, you should appear to be reminding him of something he had forgotten, not of the light he was unable to see.”
12. “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.”
Striving for Excellence – Personally and Professionally
As a breed, educators are a driven, ambitious, focused bunch. Here are some quotes for educators that reflect that commitment to excellence.
13. “[Tennis champion] Novak Djokovic said in an interview with the Financial Times that “I can carry on playing at this level because I like hitting the tennis ball.” The interviewer replied in surprise: “Are there really players who don’t like hitting the ball?” Djokovic answered, “Oh yes. There are people out there who don’t have the right motivation. You don’t need to talk to them. I can see it.”
If you can find the thing you do for its own sake, the compulsive piece of your process, and dial that up and up, beyond the imaginary ceiling for that activity you may be creating, my experience is the world comes to you for that thing and you massively outperform the others who don’t actually like hitting that particular ball. I think the rest of career advice is commentary on this essential truth.”
14. “You can increase your surface area for good luck by taking action. The forager who explores widely will find lots of useless terrain, but is also more likely to stumble across a bountiful berry patch than the person who stays home. Similarly, the person who works hard, pursues opportunity, and tries more things is more likely to stumble across a lucky break than the person who waits.”
15. “There will never be a perfect time to do something that stretches you. That’s true whether you are starting a business, having a child, changing careers, or wrestling with any number of challenges. That’s not a license to be reckless and never think things through, but at some point you have to embrace the uncertainty because it is the only path forward. If you were ready for it, it wouldn’t be growth.”
16. “Planning and preparation are useful until they become a form of procrastination. Is this task enhancing my actions or substituting for them?”
17. “Too often, we fall into an all-or-nothing cycle with our habits. The problem is not slipping up; the problem is thinking that if you can’t do something perfectly, then you shouldn’t do it at all.”
18. “The list of mistakes you can never recover from is very short. But you likely realize your life will not be destroyed if your book doesn’t sell or if a potential date turns you down or if your startup goes bust. It’s not the failed outcome that paralyzes us. It’s the possibility of looking stupid, feeling humiliated, or dealing with embarrassment that prevents us from getting started at all. The first step to being courageous is being willing to look foolish.”
Staying the Course
Education is a long game – there is rarely instant gratification, but there are surprising, lasting effects, sometimes decades letter. These quotes for educators will help you stay the course.
19. “Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.”
20. “Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.”
21. “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.”
22. “Teaching is the one profession that creates all other professions.”
23. “If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.”
24. “Improvements are only temporary until they become part of who you are.
-The goal is not to read a book, the goal is to become a reader.
-The goal is not to run a marathon, the goal is to become a runner.
-The goal is not to learn an instrument, the goal is to become a musician.
This year, focus on the identity you want to build.”
What are your favorite quotes for educators?
Compassion Fatigue Resources for Educators