Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Teacher

"The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself." -

"We have inadvertently designed a system in which being good at what you do as a teacher is not formally rewarded, while being poor at what you do is seldom corrected nor penalized." - Elliot W. Eisner

"Inside the souls of wealthy men bleak famine lives while minds of stature struggle trapped in starving bodies. How then can man distinguish man, what test can he use? The test of wealth? That measure means poverty of mind; of poverty? The pauper owns one thing, the sickness of his condition, a compelling teacher of evil; by nerve in war? Yet who, when a spear is cast across his face, will stand to witness his companion’s courage? We can only toss our judgments random on the wind." - Euripedes NULL

"The best teacher is... the one who kindles an inner fire, arouses moral enthusiasm, inspires the student with a vision of what he may become and reveals the worth and permanency of moral and spiritual and cultural values." - Harold Gwyer Garnett

"A teacher who can arouse a feeling for one single good action, for one single good poem, accomplishes more than he who fills our memory with rows and rows of natural objects, classified with name and form." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Suffering is meant to benefit not only the individual who is personally suffering. It is meant as a teacher to anyone who sees it or hears about it. The suffering of anyone in the world can serve as a tool we can use to learn lessons that will elevate us." - Avraham Grodzinski

"Patience is the guardian of faith, the preserver of peace, the cherisher of love, the teacher of humility; patience, governs the flesh, strengthens the spirit, sweetens the temper, stifles anger, extinguishes envy, subdues the hand, tramples upon temptation, endures persecutions, consummates martyrdom; patience produces unity in the church, loyalty in the state, harmony in families and societies; she comforts the poor and moderates the rich; she makes us humble in prosperity, cheerful in adversity, unmoved by calumny and reproach; she teaches us to forgive those who have injured us, and to be the first in asking forgiveness of those whom we have injured; she delights the faithful, and invites the unbelieving; she adorns the woman, and approves the man; is loved in a child, praised in a young man, admired in an old man; she is beautiful in either sex and every age." - George Horne

"A good teacher is one who helped you become who you feel yourself to be. A good teacher is also one who says something you won’t understand until 10 years later." - Julius Lester

"It would truly be a fine thing if men suffered themselves to be guided by reason, that they should acquiesce in the true remonstrances addressed to them by the writings of the learned and the advice of friends. But the greater part are so disposed that the words which enter by one ear do incontinently go out of the other, and begin again by following the custom. The best teacher one can have is necessity." - François de La Noüe

"A teacher should give his pupil opportunity for independent practice without suggestions from himself, and thus set upon him the stamp of indelible memory in its purest form." - Philo, aka Philo of Alexandria, Philo Judaeus, Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, Yedidia, "Philon", and Philo the Jew NULL

"The true aim of every one who aspires to be a teacher should be, not to impart his own opinions, but to kindle the minds." -

"Reverence requires imagination and vital warmth; it requires least actual achievement or power. The child is weak and superficially foolish, the teacher is strong, and in an everyday sense wiser than the child. The teacher without reverence, or the bureaucrat without reverence, easily despises the child for these outward inferiorities." -

"Whenever we meet someone who carries our shadow energies and regard that person as our teacher rather than our adversary, we can begin the work of reclaiming our repressed wholeness." - Hal Stone

"When we accept any discipline for ourselves, we try to avoid everything except that which is necessary for our purpose; it is this purposefulness, which belongs to the adult mind, that we force upon school children. We say, “Never keep your mind alert, attend to what is before you, what has been given you.” This tortures the child because it contradicts nature’s purpose, and nature, the greatest of all teachers, is thwarted at every step by the human teacher who believes in machine-made lessons rather than life lessons, so that the growth of the child’s mind is not only injured, but forcibly spoiled." -

"Too many follow example rather than precept; but it is safer to learn rather from precept than example. Man a wise teacher does not follow his own teaching; for it is easier to say, do this, than to do it. If then I see good doctrine with an evil life, though I pity the last, I will follow the first. Good sayings belong to all; evil actions only to their authors." - Arthur Warwick

"One good teacher in a lifetime may sometimes change a delinquent into a solid citizen." -

"The highest function today of the teacher consists not so much in imparting knowledge as in stimulating the pupil in its love and pursuit... To know how to suggest is the art of teaching." -

"The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself." - Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, fully Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, Lord Lytton

"The most effective teacher will always be biased, for the chief force in teaching is confidence and enthusiasm." - Joyce Cary

"The philosopher contemplates ideas; the teacher energizes ideas; the student generates ideas." - Lionel Crocker

"A wisely chosen illustration is almost essential to fasten the truth upon the ordinary mind, and no teacher can afford to neglect this part of his preparation." - Howard Crosby

"There is no human reason why a child should not admire and emulate his teacher's ability to do sums, rather than the village bum's ability to whittle sticks and smoke cigarettes. The reason why the child does not is plain enough - the bum has put himself on an equality with him and the teacher has not." - Floyd Dell

"Pain is the great teacher of mankind. Beneath its breath souls develop." - Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge." - Albert Einstein

"I have never heard anyone who I considered a good teacher claim that he or she is a good teacher - in the way that one might claim to be a good writer or surgeon or athlete. Self-doubt seems very much a part of the job of teaching: one can never be sure how well it is going." -

"I have no patience with the stupidity of the average teacher of grammar who wastes precious years in hammering rules into children's heads. For it is not by learning rules that we acquire the powers of speaking a language, but by daily intercourse with those accustomed to express themselves with exactness ands refinement and by copious reading of the best authors." -

"Go to the place where the thing you wish to know is native; your best teacher is there. Where the thing you wish to know is so dominant that you must breathe its very atmosphere, there teaching is most thorough, and learning is most easy. You acquire a language most readily in the country where it is spoken; you study mineralogy best among miners; and so with everything else." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"An important personal quality for a teacher is that he care about humanity. If he doesn't, he is taking his pay illegally." -

"If a child who wanted to be a teacher I would bid him Godspeed as if he were going to war. For indeed the war against prejudice, greed and ignorance is eternal, and those who dedicate themselves to it give their lives not less because they may live to see some faction of the battle won." - James Hilton

"Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson after." - Vern Law, fully Vernon Sanders Law

"Experience is the teacher of fools." - Livy, formally Titus Livius, aka Titus Livy NULL

"The best teacher one can have is necessity." - Francis la None

"In my life of professional teaching, I have never endeavored to make young men more efficient; I have tried to make them more interesting. If one is interested, one is usually interesting. The business of a teacher is not to supply information, it is to raise a thirst. I like to hang pictures on the walls of the mind, I like to make it possible for a man to live with himself, so that he will not be bored with himself. For my own part, I live everyday as if this were the first day I had ever seen and the last I were going to see." - William Lyon Phelps

"The teacher is like the candle which lights others in consuming itself." - Giovani Ruffini

"A boy who suffers not at the hands of his teacher suffers at the hand of Time." - Sa'di (or Saadi), pen name of Abū-Muḥammad Muṣliḥ al-Dīn bin Abdallāh Shīrāzī, born Muslih-uddin NULL

"Science urges us to occupy by our mind the immensity of the knowable world; our spiritual teacher enjoins us to comprehend by our soul the infinite spirit which is in the depth of the moving and changing facts of the world; the urging of our artistic nature is to realize the manifestation of personality in the world of appearance, the reality of existence which is in harmony with the real within us. Where this harmony is not deeply felt, there we are aliens and perpetually homesick. For man by nature is an artist; he never receives passively and accurately in his mind a physical representation of things around him." -

"Curiosity is as much the parent of attention as attention is of memory; therefore the first business of a teacher - first not only in point of time, but of importance - should be to excite not merely a general curiosity on the subject of the study, but a particular curiosity on particular points in that subject. To teach one who has no curiosity to learn is to sow a field without ploughing it." - Richard Whately

"A true teacher should penetrate to whatever is vital in his pupil, and develop that by the light and heat of his own intelligence." - Edwin Percy Whipple

"The business of the American teacher is to liberate American citizens to think apart and act together." - Stephen Samuel Wise

"Has America become a country where classroom discussion of the Ten Commandments is impermissible, but teacher instructions in safe sodomy be to be mandatory?" - Pat Buchanan, fully Patrick Joseph "Pat" Buchanan

"Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings – that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide." -

"Although the tongue of God is busy speaking through all things, yet in order to speak to the deaf ears of many among us, it is necessary for Him to speak through the lips of man. He has done this all through the history of man, every great teacher of the past having been this guiding Spirit living the life of God in human guise. In other words, their human guise consists of various coats worn by the same person, who appeared to be different in each. Shiva, Buddha, Rama, Krishna, on the other side, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Mohammad on the other; and many more, known or unknown to history, always one and the same person." - Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan

"The highest truth cannot be put into words. Therefore the greatest teacher has nothing to say. He simply gives himself in service, and never worries." - Lao Tzu, ne Li Urh, also Laotse, Lao Tse, Lao Tse, Lao Zi, Laozi, Lao Zi, La-tsze

"Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward." -

"A master can tell you what he expects of you. A teacher, though, awakens your own expectations." - Patricia Neal

"Nature is a school-mistress, the soul the pupil; and whatever one has taught or the other learned has come from God - the Teacher of the teacher." -

"A historian without any theological bias whatever… cannot portray the progress of humanity honestly without giving a foremost place to a penniless teacher from Nazareth." -

"A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary." - Thomas Carruthers

"The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say," -

"If the teacher is ignorant, how can the student be expected to be any better?" - Rick Moore