1001 Pearls of Teachers' Wisdom by Erin Gruwell

Ignacio Estrada: “If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.”

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If kids come to educators and teachers from strong, healthy, functioning families, it makes our job easier. If they do not come to us from strong, healthy, functioning families, it makes our job more important.

—BARBARA COLOROSE

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The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.

—MARK VAN DOREN

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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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It must be remembered that the purpose of education is not to fill the minds of students with facts … it is to teach them to think, if that is possible, and always to think for themselves.

—ROBERT HUTCHINS

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When the uncapped potential of a student meets the liberating art of a teacher, a miracle unfolds.

—MARY HATWOOD FUTRELL (1941–), DEAN AT GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

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Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is best.

—BOB TALBERT

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Good teaching is more a giving of right questions than a giving of right answers.

—JOSEF ALBERS

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He then learns that in going down into the secrets of his own mind he has descended into the secrets of all minds.

—RALPH WALDO EMERSON

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It is written that he who governs well, leads the blind; but that he who teaches, gives them eyes.

—DAVID O. MCKAY, MORMON HUMANITARIAN AND EDUCATOR

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Children are not born knowing the many opportunities that are theirs for the taking. Someone who does know must tell them.

—RUTH HILL VIGUERS, EDITOR OF THE HORN BOOK (1958–1967), FROM “RUTH HILL VIGUERS”

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The great teachings unanimously emphasize that all the peace, wisdom, and joy in the universe are already within us; we don’t have to gain, develop, or attain them. We’re like a child standing in a beautiful park with his eyes shut tight. We don’t need to imagine trees, flowers, deer, birds, and sky; we merely need to open our eyes and realize what is already here, who we really are. As soon as we quit pretending we’re small or unholy.

—ANONYMOUS

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Everyone and everything around you is your teacher.

—KEN KEYES, JR.

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To teach a man how he may learn to grow independently, and for himself, is the greatest service that one man can do another.

—BENJAMIN JOWETT

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The world does not pay for what a person knows. But it pays for what a person does with what he knows.

—LAURENCE LEE

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When the student is ready the teacher will appear.

—LAO TZU (C. 600 B.C.), CHINESE PHILOSOPHER, FOUNDER OF CHINESE TAOISM, KNOWN AS “OLD MASTER”

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He who dares to teach must never cease to learn.

—ANONYMOUS

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We live in a time of such rapid change and growth of knowledge that only he who is in a fundamental sense a scholar—that is,  a person who continues to learn and inquire—can hope to keep pace, let alone play the role of guide.

—NATHAN M. PUSEY, FROM HIS BOOK THE AGE OF THE SCHOLAR (1963)

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Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

—CONFUCIUS

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No matter what your product is, you are ultimately in the education business. Your customers need to be constantly educated about the many advantages of doing business with you, trained to use your products more effectively, and taught how to make never-ending improvement in their

lives.

—ROBERT G. ALLEN

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It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.

—EARL WEAVER

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Who dares to teach, must never cease to learn.

—JOHN COTTON DAN

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You can pay people to teach, but you can’t pay them to care.

—MARVA COLLINS, FROM HER BOOK MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE CLASSROOM (1992)

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Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

—DR. LEO BUSCAGLIA

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Children have more need of models than critics.

—JOSEPH JOUBERT

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The best teachers teach from the heart, not from the book.

—ANONYMOUS

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I asked a student one day why he thought he was doing so much better than last year. He gave meaning to my whole new orientation. “It’s because I like myself now when I’m with you,” he said.

—ANONYMOUS TEACHER, AS QUOTED BY EVERETT SHOSTROM IN MAN, THE MANIPULATOR (1968)

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If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.

—IGNACIO ESTRADA

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One of the most important things a teacher can do is to send the pupil home in the afternoon liking himself just a little better than when he came in that morning.

—ERNEST MELBY, COMMUNITY EDUCATOR ADVOCATE

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You can’t teach people everything they need to know. The best you can do is position them where they can find what they need to know when they need to know it.

—SEYMOUR PAPERT

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The finest gift you can give anyone is encouragement. Yet, almost no one gets the encouragement they need to grow to their full potential. If everyone received the encouragement they need to grow, the genius in most everyone would blossom and the world would produce abundance beyond our wildest dreams.

—SIDNEY MADWED

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Is it too late to grow a tree now? Of course it is late. You should have planted the seed twenty years ago. However, you can grasp the second best chance of growing a tree, which is now.

--Quote by Myself

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A man should first direct himself in the way he should go. Only then should he instruct others.

—BUDDHA

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Teaching consists of causing people to go into situations from which they cannot escape, except by thinking. Do not handicap your children by making their lives easy.

—ROBERT HEINLEIN, FROM HIS BOOK THE NOTEBOOKS OF LAZARUS LONG (1973)

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There will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones; it all depends on how we use them.

--Anonymous

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One great reason why many children abandon themselves wholly to silly sports and trifle away all their time insipidly is because they have found their curiosity baulked and their enquiries neglected.  But had they been treated with more kindness and respect and their questions answered, as they should, to their satisfaction, I doubt not but they would have taken more pleasure in learning and improving their knowledge.

--John Locke, from his book Some Thoughts Concerning Education and of The Conduct of the Understanding(1693)

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Allow time for your child to complete each activity that she begins.

--Terry Malloy, from his book Montessori and Your Child: A Primer for Parents (1974)

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You can't direct the wind but you can adjust the sails.

--Anonymous

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If you want to make good use of your time, you've got to know what's most important and then give it all you've got.

--Lee Iacocca, American industrialist and former Head of Chrysler

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The purpose of education is to make the choices clear to people, not to make the choices for people.

--Peter McWilliams, writer and cannabis activist

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You teach a little by what you say. You teach the most by what you are.

--Henrietta Mears

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Children have real understanding only of that which they invent themselves, and each time that we try to teach them too quickly, we keep them from reinventing it themselves.

--Jean Piaget

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Are we influencing student's self-concept in positive or negative ways? …How can a person feel liked unless somebody likes him? How can a person feel wanted unless somebody wants him? …And how can a person feel that he is capable unless he has some success?

--Arthur Combs

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Let people realize clearly that every time they threaten someone or humiliate or hurt unnecessarily or dominate or reject another human being, they become forces for the creation of psychopathology, even if these be small forces. Let them recognize that every man who is kind, helpful … and warm, is a psychotherapeutic force.

--Abraham Maslow

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We should never pretend to know what we don't know, we should not feel ashamed to ask and learn from people below, and we should listen carefully to the views of the cadres at the lowest levels. Be a pupil before you become a teacher; learn from the cadres at the lower levels before you issue orders.

--Mao Tse-Tung

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In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments—there are consequences.

—ROBERT GREEN INGERSOLL

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I don’t know any other way to lead but by example.

—DON SHULA

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You don’t have to teach people to be human. You need to teach them how to stop being inhuman.

—ELDRIDGE CLEAVER

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What gives light must endure burning.

—VIKTOR FRANKL

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You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.

—ROSALYNN CARTER

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The work can wait while you show the child the rainbow, but the rainbow won’t wait while you do the work.

—PATRICIA CLAFFORD

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The powers of students sometimes sink under too great severity in correction … while they fear everything, they cease to attempt anything.

—QUINTILIAN

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Most teachers waste their time by asking questions which are intended to discover what a pupil does not know whereas the true art of questioning has for its purpose to discover what the pupil knows or is capable of knowing.

—ALBERT EINSTEIN

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To suggest is to create—to describe is to destroy.

—ROBERT DOISNEAU

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That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you’ve understood all your life, but in a new way.

—DORIS LESSING

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You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.

—CLAY P. BEDFORD

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I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me.

—DUDLEY FIELD MALONE

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The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.

—B.B. KING

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The most useful piece of learning for the uses of life is to unlearn what is untrue.

—ANTISTHENES

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Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one’s self-esteem. That is why young children, before they are aware of their own self-importance, learn so easily; and why older persons, especially if vain or important, cannot learn at all.

—THOMAS SZASZ, FROM HIS BOOK THE SECOND SIN (1973)

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Whatever is good to know is difficult to learn.

—GREEK PROVERB

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You don’t understand anything until you learn it more than one way.

—MARVIN MINSKY

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Wealth, if you use it, comes to an end; learning, if you can use it, increases.

—SWAHILI PROVERB

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The illiterate of the twenty-first century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.

—ALVIN TOFFLER

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Learning is what most adults will do for a living in the twenty-first century.

—BOB PERELMAN

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I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn’t learn something from him.

—GALILEO GALILEI

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I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures, those who make it or those who don’t. I divide the world into learners and non-learners.

—BENJAMIN BARBER

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Let the great book of the world be your principal study.

—LORD CHESTERFIELD, IN A LETTER TO HIS SON (1751)

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The man who graduates today and stops learning tomorrow is uneducated the day after.

—NEWTON D. BAKER

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They know enough who know how to learn.

—HENRY ADAMS

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Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so let us all be thankful.

—BUDDHA

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There is divine beauty in learning, just as there is human beauty in tolerance. To learn means to accept the postulate that life did not begin at my birth. Others have been here before me, and I walk in their footsteps.

—ELIE WIESEL

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I will study and get ready and someday my chance will come.

—ABRAHAM LINCOLN

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I do not pray for a lighter load, but for a stronger back.

—PHILLIPS BROOKS

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In times of change, learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.

—ERIC HOFFER

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All men who have turned out worth anything have had the chief hand in their own education.

—SIR WALTER SCO

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Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study. Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life.

—HENRY L. DOHERTY

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Simply making consistent investments in our self-education and knowledge banks pays major dividends throughout our lives.

—JIM ROHN, MOTIVATIONAL COACH

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It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it.

—JACOB BRONOWSKI

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Lack of something to feel important about is almost the greatest tragedy a man may have.

—ARTHUR E. MORGAN

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An education isn’t how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It’s being able to differentiate

between what you know and what you don’t.

—MALCOLM S. FORBES

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The great secret of education is to make the exercises of the body and the mind serve as relaxation to each other.

—JEAN JACQUES ROUSSEAU

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The most important outcome of education is to help students become independent of formal education.

—PAUL E. GRAY, PRESIDENT OF THE MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

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Invest in yourself, in your education. There’s nothing better.

—SYLVIA PORTER

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A good education is like a savings account; the more you put into it, the richer you are.

—ANONYMOUS

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Education costs money, but then so does ignorance.

—SIR CLAUDE MOSER

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If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.

—DEREK BOK, FROM HIS BOOK UNIVERSITIES AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICA (1990)

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Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.

—MALCOLM X

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It has been said that the primary function of schools is to impart enough facts to make children stop asking questions. Some, with whom the schools do not succeed, become scientists.

—KNUT SCHMIDT-NIELSEN

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Four years was enough of Harvard. I still had a lot to learn, but had been given the liberating notion that now I could teach myself.

—JOHN UPDIKE

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A college education shows a man how little other people know.

—THOMAS CHANDLER HALIBURTON

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The bachelor’s degree is not the end of the educational journey, but just another milestone.

—KENNETH C. GREEN, DIRECTOR OF THE CAMPUS COMPUTING PROJECT

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Nine tenths of education is encouragement.

—ANATOLE FRANCE

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Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.

—GEORGE PATTON

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You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing and dance, and write poems, and suffer, and understand, for all that is life.

—JIDDU KRISHNAMURTI

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Perhaps the angels who fear to tread where fools rush in used to be fools who rushed in.

—FRANKLIN P. JONES

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The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.

—BARBARA KINGSOLVER, FROM HER BOOK ANIMAL DREAMS (1997)

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It’s never too late to start over, never too late to be happy.

—JANE FONDA

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Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

—LAO TZU

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The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work.

—MICHAEL JACKSON

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Inside every problem are the seeds of innovative solutions.

—REED MARKHAM

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It is not enough for me to answer questions; I want to know how to answer the one question that seems to encompass  everything I face: What am I here for?

—ABRAHAM JOSHUA HESCHEL, FROM HIS BOOK WHO IS MAN? (1965)

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Not all who wander are lost.

—J. R. R. TOLKIEN

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Young people need models, not critics.

—JOHN WOODEN

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We can not do everything at once, but we can do something at once.

--Calvin Coolidge

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Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.

--Robert Collier

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