I’m sure that they must inspire some people but there are some ‘inspirational quotes’ that can do the opposite. They sound corny and cheesy and they are a more than a bit annoying.
You know the sort I mean. Here’s a classic that appears on countless PowerPoints:
“Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.”
Thanks for that one William Butler Yeats, thanks to you this is all over the shop.
You will see these quirky quotes pretty much everywhere as posters and they adorn classrooms, staffrooms and diaries but they do nothing for me….except wind me up. They are often written by ‘great’ people many of whom haven’t taught in an inner-city classroom.
Here are my top 20 quotes that get on my nerves and if I see them please forgive me if I rip them off the wall.
1. The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. (William Arthur Ward)
2. Those who know, do. Those who understand, teach. (Artistotle)
3. One book, one pen, one child and one teacher can change the world. (Mala Yousafzai)
4. Teach the children so it will not be necessary to teach the adults. (Abraham Lincoln)
5. Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere. (Chinese Proverb)
6. I am not a teacher, but an awakener. (Robert Frost)
7. I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn. (Albert Einstein)
8. Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today. (Malcolm X)
9. A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. (Henry Adams)
10. The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts. (C.S. Lewis)
11. Teachers can change lives with just the right mix of chalk and challenges. (Joyce Meyer)
12. I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. (Thomas Edison)
13. Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. (Anonymous)
14. Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher. (Japanese proverb)
15. The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn. (John Lubbock)
16. To teach is to learn twice over. (Joseph Joubert)
17. The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery. (Mark Van Doren)
18. Teaching is the one profession that creates all other professions. (Unknown)
19. The next best thing to knowing something is knowing where to find it. (Samuel Johnson)
20. Teachers, you don’t teach a subject. You teach a child. (Deepa Bhushan)