23 Inspirational Quotes for Teachers to Lift You Up When You're Down

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Updated | 4 min read

Teaching can be a really tough gig sometimes, and sometimes we need a reminder that teaching is pretty darn amazing. Between all of the tasks, big and small, that you do each and every day, it’s so important to pause and remember why you are here. This list of inspirational quotes for teachers goes a little way to summarizing the importance of all that you do.

Hopefully, casting your eyes over these words will be exactly the kind of micro-moment you need to get through the rest of your day. Or, if you have a teacher friend who you know needs a little love and light right now, send these bits of inspiration for educators their way!

Inspirational Quotes for Teachers

1. “Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching kids what counts is best.” – Bob Talbert

As teachers, we have a lot on our shoulders, and yes, that does mean literally teaching kids their ABCs and their 123s. However, the love and kindness, and compassion we show in the classroom every day is going a long way too! It helps our students see the kind of people they can grow up to be!

inspirational teacher quote teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is best by bob talbert

2. “I touch the future. I teach.” –Christa McAuliffe

New Hampshire teacher Christa McAuliffe will never be forgotten by the American teaching community for her strength and bravery. Before she lost her life in the Challenger explosion in 1986 — a tragedy that claimed the lives of seven crew members on the space shuttle — McAuliffe was inspiring teachers with her willingness to leave the comfort of her social studies classroom for outer space as part of NASA’s Teacher in Space Project. You may not be headed into outer space any time soon, but let’s face it — you too touch the future every day right in your school building.

inspirational teacher quote i touch the future, i teach christa mcauliffe

3. “A good education can change anyone. A good teacher can change everything!”

Sometimes it can be hard to remember the greater impact that is created by the sum of seemingly tiny everyday actions. Post this inspirational teacher quote where you’ll be reminded of it!

inspirational teacher quote A good education can change anyone. A good teacher can change everything!

4. “Teachers can make such a profound impact on our lives and should be honored as heroes.” — Rainn Wilson

You may know Rainn Wilson as the actor who played Dwight Schrute in the hit comedy The Office, but did you know he’s also a major supporter of education initiatives like the Mona Foundation, which supports educational initiatives for children in developing countries? Wilson’s words about the impact teachers can have are just the kind of inspiration to get you through a tough day.

inspirational teacher quote

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

This quote from Nelson Mandela is a powerful reminder that inside a school building, inside a classroom, sitting behind a desk, or standing in front of a classroom is someone changing the world.
inspirational teacher quote

6. Children learn more from who you are than what you teach.

We’re certainly not denigrating all the hard work you’re putting into your lessons. That matters! But patience, kindness, compassion, a growth mindset … our actions and behaviors speak as loudly as any of our ‘lessons’ do!
inspirational quote for teachers children learn more from who you are than what you teach

7. “You can’t stop a teacher when they want to do something. They just do it.” ― J.D. Salinger

Teacher, you are an unstoppable force!

inspirational teacher quote “You can't stop a teacher when they want to do something. They just do it.” ― J.D. Salinger

8. “Teachers are those who help find strengths, wipe away tears, overpower demons and conquer fears.”

Sometimes our students can spend more time with us than they do with their families, which makes ours such an important role in their lives.
inspirational teacher quote

9. “A good teacher isn’t someone who gives the answers out to their kids but is understanding of needs and challenges and gives tools to help other people succeed.” – Justin Trudeau

It’s quotes like this one from the Canadian prime minister that make you stop and think about how much more is involved in teaching than many people realize. Anyone can give answers. Not just anyone sees and educates the whole child.

inspirational teacher quote

10. “Teachers who love teaching, teach children to love learning.”

Passion and excitement are infectious!
inspirational teacher quote

11. “My teacher gave me the best gift of all… Believing in me!”

We don’t always know what is going on at home. We do know that what we are saying in the classroom can be the best thing a child hears all day.
inspirational teacher quote

12. “Every child is gifted. They just unwrap their packages at different times.”

And, who are we to know just where a child is at on their journey? We may be supporting them through their hungry caterpillar stage, only to hear about how they found their wings long after leaving our classroom for the very last time…
inspirational teacher quote

13. “It’s the teacher that makes the difference, not the classroom.” –Michael Morpurgo

Remember this quote the next time you’re feeling stressed about not having a Pinterest-perfect classroom. It’s you … it’s always you!

inspirational teacher quote “It’s the teacher that makes the difference, not the classroom.” –Michael Morpurgo

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

Your glass is half full, teachers.

inspirational teacher quote

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

Yeats’ poetry may be a bit advanced for your elementary schoolers, but the Irish poet’s words are enough to fuel you for days!

inspirational teacher quote “Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.” –William Butler Yeats

16. “Invest in our teachers, and our children will succeed.” — Barack Obama

Yes, it really is that simple.

inspirational teacher quote

17. “The dream begins, most of the time, with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you on to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth.” – Dan Rather

This quote from Dan Rather is the kind you need to have on hand when you have to lay down the law with your students and they’re grumbling. Just remember, it’s onward and upward.

inspirational teacher quote Dan Rather

18. “What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches.” ― Karl Menninger

Even when you’re being shuffled around from classroom to classroom, remember, you ARE special!

inspirational teacher quote “What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches.” ― Karl Menninger

19. “If you look behind every exceptional person there is an exceptional teacher.” — Stephen Hawking

One of the greatest astrophysicists of our time would never have been who he was without his teachers.

inspirational teacher quote by stephen hawking

20. “A good teacher is like the rising sun that comes to fill the empty and dark minds with the light of the education” ― Anamika Mishra

You are a light in the dark!
inspirational teacher quote “A good teacher is like the rising sun that comes to fill the empty and dark minds with the light of the education” ― Anamika Mishra

21. “The influence of a good teacher can never be erased.”

The impacts of ‘bad’ teaching can be overcome with time, patience and support. A good teacher’s legacy is forever.
inspirational teacher quote

22. “It takes a big heart to shape little minds.”

You completed most of the hard work needed to become a good teacher before you stepped into your classroom for the first time… becoming the heart-full person that you are!

23. “Some people change the world. And some people change the people who change the world, and that’s you.” ― Kij Johnson

Even on days when you don’t feel like you’re making a difference, just remember that the kids you’re impacting today may be tomorrow’s leaders.

inspirational teacher quote “Some people change the world. And some people change the people who change the world, and that's you.” ― Kij Johnson


Did you need that little reminder of just how awesome you are?! Even if you didn’t, we hope that these words warmed your heart a little.

Want to spread the inspiration and positivity around? Check out our positivity resources for teachers.

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