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15 Inspirational Quotes for Teachers

Behold: a list of 15 carefully-curated quotes that I hope will lend you a little fuel as you power through to a well-deserved break from the world’s most important job.

Student drawings hung up outside.

By Jenson Reiser

December 21, 2015

Confession: I do not tend to be terribly inspired by quotes. Perhaps I saw “Live, Laugh, Love” posted one too many times in a place where I didn’t particularly feel like loving or laughing. But despite being neither a seeker nor a collector of quotes, every once in a Pin-spiration, I’ll read something that stops me in my tracks and shines some new and necessary light when I find myself fumbling around in the dark.

This post is for all the teachers out there who are implementing their third classroom management system in four months; who have 120 papers to grade in two days; who just burned a batch of stress coping-cookies; and who haven’t eaten a balanced meal in a week. Behold: a list of 15 carefully-curated quotes that I hope will lend you a little fuel as you power through to a well-deserved break from the world’s most important job.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” -Mary Oliver

"One small crack does not mean that you are broken; it means that you were put to the test and you didn't fall apart." -Linda Poindexter 

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.” -Maya Angelou

“When I run after what I think I want, my days are a furnace of stress and anxiety. If I sit in my own place of patience, what I need flows to me, and without pain.” -Rumi

“It’s never overreacting to ask for what you want and need.” -Amy Poehler 

“Stress is caused by being here but wanting to be there.” -Eckhart Tolle

“What if you wake up some day and you’re 65 or 75 and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn't go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen.” -Anne Lamott 

“Reexamine all that you have been told. Dismiss that which insults your soul.” -Walt Whitman

"What's broken can be mended. What hurts can be healed. And no matter how dark it gets, the sun is going to rise again." -Anonymous

“Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.” -Pema Chodron 

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing the monkey bars. You have to let go at some point to move forward.” -C.S. Lewis

“We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don't really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.” -Pema Chodron

“The best thing about being a teacher is that it matters. The hardest thing about being a teacher is that it matters every day.” -Todd Whitaker 

“Much suffering, much unhappiness arises when you take each thought that comes into your head as the truth…Rather than being your thoughts and emotions, be the awareness behind them.” -Eckhart Tolle

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do…It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone, and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Marianne Williamson