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  • Example is better than precept.

  • True teaching cannot be learned from text-books any more than a surgeon can acquire his skill by reading about surgery.

  • It is useless to deny that, unless one has a genius for imparting knowledge, teaching is a drudgery.

  • We teachers can only help the work going on, as servants wait upon a master.

  • ... the greatest sign of success for a teacher ... is to be able to say, 'The children are now working as if I did not exist.'

  • Teachers have power. We may cripple them by petty economics; by Government regulations, by the foolish criticism of an uninformed press; but their power exists for good or evil ...

    • Winifred Holtby,
    • 1926, in Alice Holtby and Jean McWilliam, eds., Letters to a Friend ()
  • ... we teach what we need to learn and we write what we need to know.

  • Teaching is the royal road to learning.

  • Everybody is now so busy teaching that nobody has any time to learn.

  • Culture — as we know it — is an instrument manipulated by teachers for manufacturing more teachers, who, in their turn, will manufacture still more teachers.

  • The teachers of small children are paid more than they were, but still far less than the importance of their work deserves, and they are still regarded by the unenlightened majority as insignificant compared to those who impart information to older children and adolescents, a class of pupils which, in the nature of things, is vastly more able to protect its own individuality from the character of the teacher.

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  • I am teaching ... it's kind of like having a love affair with a rhinoceros.

    • ,
    • (1970), in Linda Gray Sexton and Lois Ames, eds., Anne Sexton: A Self-Portrait in Letters ()
  • A teacher cannot be one thing and teach her children to be another.

  • ... it is easier to teach twenty what were good to be done than to be one of the twenty to follow our own teaching.

  • ... if one cannot state a matter clearly enough so that even an intelligent twelve-year-old can understand it, one should remain within the cloistered walls of the university and laboratory until one gets a better grasp of one's subject matter.

  • ... the ability to learn is older — as it is also more widespread — than is the ability to teach.

  • ... man's most human characteristic is not his ability to learn, which he shares with many other species, but his ability to teach and store what others have developed and taught him.

  • ... every Teacher liveth on a Diet of Surprises.

  • You could write slop for Mr. Simpson, but if it were punctuated correctly, spelled properly, and used some basic literary devices, your grade was inevitably astronomical.

  • Outwardly she differed from the rest of the teaching staff in that she was still in a state of fluctuating development, whereas they had only too understandably not trusted themselves to change their minds, particularly on ethical questions, after the age of twenty.

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

  • ... not just part of us becomes a teacher. It engages the whole self — the woman or man, wife or husband, mother or father, the lover, scholar or artist in you as well as the teacher earning money ...

  • When I teach people I marry them.

  • Professors of literature collect books the way a ship collects barnacles, without seeming effort. A literary academic can no more pass a bookstore than an alcoholic can pass a bar.

  • I suspect you of being a born schoolteacher, something apparently rarer in our day than a fine glass blower, and infinitely more desirable.

  • I've always thought that very few people grow old as admirably as academics. At least books never let them down.

  • 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.

  • Teachers should unmask themselves, admit into consciousness the idea that one does not need to know everything there is to know and one does not have to pretend to know everything there is to know.

  • At the heart of good education are those gifted, hardworking, and memorable teachers whose inspiration kindles fires that never quite go out, whose remembered encouragement is sometimes the only hard ground we stand upon, and whose very selves are the stuff of the best lessons they ever teach us. Most of us, no matter how long ago it's been, can name our kindergarten teacher. Our first music teacher. Our junior high algebra teacher. Good teachers never die.

    • Rosalie Maggio,
    • introduction, in Rosalie Maggio, ed., Quotations on Education ()
  • The finest teaching touches in a student a spring neither teacher nor student could possibly have preconceived.

  • No one should teach who is not in love with teaching.

  • One must love people a good deal whom one takes pains to convince or instruct.

  • You can pay people to teach, but not to care.

    • Marva Collins,
    • in Marva Collins and Civia Tamarkin, Marva Collins' Way ()
  • A good teacher can always make a poor student good and a good student superior.

    • Marva Collins,
    • in Marva Collins and Civia Tamarkin, Marva Collins' Way ()
  • What all good teachers have in common, however, is that they set high standards for their children and do not settle for anything less.

    • Marva Collins,
    • in Marva Collins and Civia Tamarkin, Marva Collins' Way ()
  • Students do not need to be labeled or measured any more than they are. They don't need more Federal funds, grants, and gimmicks. What they need from us is common sense, dedication, and bright, energetic teachers who believe that all children are achievers and who take personally the failure of any one child.

    • Marva Collins,
    • in Marva Collins and Civia Tamarkin, Marva Collins' Way ()
  • When someone is taught the joy of learning, it becomes a life-long process that never stops, a process that creates a logical individual. That is the challenge and joy of teaching.

    • Marva Collins,
    • "Marva Collins: Teaching Success in the City," Message ()
  • Everything works when the teacher works. It's as easy as that, and as hard.

    • Marva Collins,
    • in Marva Collins and Civia Tamarkin, Marva Collins' Way ()
  • Once children learn how to learn, nothing is going to narrow their mind. The essence of teaching is to make learning contagious, to have one idea spark another.

    • Marva Collins,
    • in Marva Collins and Civia Tamarkin, Marva Collins' Way ()
  • I touch the future. I teach.

  • The teachers in America need to be applauded every day because they save the lives of kids!

  • ... please remember these two difficult truths of teaching: 1. No matter how much you do, you'll feel it's not enough. 2. Just because you can only do a little is no excuse to do nothing.

  • Remember this great teaching axiom: only dull people are at their best during faculty meetings.

  • What they didn't tell you in your college preparatory courses is that a teacher's day is half bureaucracy, half crisis, half monotony, and one-eightieth epiphany. Never mind the arithmetic.

  • Teaching is a rigorous act of faith.

  • Teaching consists of equal parts perspiration, inspiration, and resignation.

  • ... all teachers need to have the courage of their contradictions.

  • ... the disposition for teaching is two percent inborn and ninety-eight percent reinvented every day of one's career.

  • ... the core of being a teacher is the ability to listen when children speak, to understand and act on their sometimes obvious but often very subtle messages.

  • The really scary thing about teaching is that we teachers, particularly those of us in elementary school, teach who we are. We are the curriculum.

  • ... what a teacher thinks she teaches often has little to do with what students learn.

  • What was the duty of the teacher if not to inspire?

  • Imparting knowledge is only lighting other men's candles at our lamp, without depriving ourselves of any flame.

    • Jane Porter,
    • in Philip Sidney and Jane Porter, Aphorisms of Sir Philip Sidney, With Remarks by Miss Porter ()
  • Teaching is performance art.

  • A master can tell you what he expects of you. A teacher, though, awakens your own expectations.

    • Patricia Neal,
    • with Richard De Neut, As I Am: An Autobiography ()
  • Teaching is a performance art.

    • Camille Paglia,
    • "Junk Bonds and Corporate Raiders: Academe in the Hour of the Wolf," Sex, Art, and American Culture ()
  • Teaching is a process of becoming that continues throughout life, never completely achieved, never completely denied. This is the challenge and the fun of being a teacher — there is no ultimate end to the process.

  • There are three things to remember when teaching school: Know your stuff, know whom you are stuffing, and then stuff them elegantly.

    • Lola J. May,
    • in Evelyn Oppenheimer, The Articulate Woman ()
  • The task of a teacher is not to work for the pupil nor to oblige him to work, but to show him how to work.

  • In this disturbing era of testing and data collection in the public schools, I have seen my career transformed into a job that no longer fits my understanding of how children learn and what a teacher ought to do in the classroom to build a healthy, safe, developmentally appropriate environment for learning for each of our children.

  • [On scolding:] Where did we ever get the crazy idea that in order to make children do better, first we have to make them feel worse?