Teacher’s Day Quotes and Sayings

Teachers who educate children deserve more honor than parents who merely gave birth; for bare life is furnished by the one, the other ensures a good life.


A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.

Henry Brooks Adams 1838-1918 ‘The Education of Henry Adams’ (1907) ch. 20

Few have been taught to any purposes who have not been their own teachers.

Sir Joshua Reynolds 1723-92 “Discourses on Art” (ed. R. Wark, 1975) no. 2 (11 December 1769)

A teacher should have maximal authority and minimal power.

Thomas Szasz 1920— “The Second Sin” (1973) “Education

Teach the free man how to praise.

W. H. Auden (Wystan Hugh Auden) 1907-73 ‘In Memory of W. B. Yeats’ (1940)

For rigorous teachers seized my youth,
And purged its faith, and trimmed its fire,
Showed me the high, white star of Truth,
There bade me gaze, and there aspire.

Matthew Arnold 1822-88 ‘Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse’ (1855) l. 67

Love had he found in huts where poor men lie;
His daily teachers had been woods and rills,
The silence that is in the starry sky,
The sleep that is among the lonely hills.

William Wordsworth 1770-1850 “Song at the Feast of Brougham Castle” (1807)

A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary.

Thomas Carruthers

Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theater.

Gail Godwin

A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron.

Horace Mann

Most teachers have little control over school policy or curriculum or choice of texts or special placement of students, but most have a great deal of autonomy inside the classroom. To a degree shared by only a few other occupations, such as police work, public education rests precariously on the skill and virtue of the people at the bottom of the institutional pyramid.

Tracy Kidder

I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.

Lily Tomlin as “Edith Ann”

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

In teaching you cannot see the fruit of a day’s work. It is invisible and remains so, maybe for twenty years.

Jacques Barzun

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