Close this search box.

60 Inspirational Quotes About the Art of Teaching

Teachers are everyday superheroes. They’re so awesome that some of history’s brightest minds have been compelled to wax lyrical about them. This inspired us to collect our favourite quotes about teachers and teaching for you to enjoy.

Whether you’re a teacher, trainer, instructor or an educator of any type — there’s a quote here for you to enjoy. Likewise, whether you work in schools, higher education or even the corporate world (our speciality!), you’ll find nuggets of wisdom aplenty. And if this doesn’t satisfy your appetite, then there’s yet more to explore:

Our list includes insights from Aristotle and his student, multiple great authors, spiritual leaders, educationalists and more! With that said, let’s start the countdown of the best teaching quotes!

Sky Blue Divider

Teaching Quotes: The All-Time Top 20 Ranked!

Teaching Quotes: Mark Van Doren

1. “The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.”Mark Van Doren

Teaching Quotes: Joseph Campbell

2. “The job of an educator is to teach students to see vitality in themselves.”Joseph Campbell

Teaching Quotes: Henry Adams

3. “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”Henry Adams

Teaching Quotes: Colleen Wilcox

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

Teaching Quotes: William Arthur Ward

5. “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”William Arthur Ward

Teaching Quotes: Margaret Elizabeth Sangster

6. “No one should teach who is not in love with teaching.”Margaret Elizabeth Sangster

Teaching Quotes: Alexandra K. Trenfor

7. “The best teachers are those who show you where to look but don’t tell you what to see.”Alexandra K. Trenfor

Teaching Quotes: Joyce Meyer

8. “Teachers can change lives with just the right mix of chalk and challenges.”Joyce Meyer

Teaching Quotes: Albert Einstein

9. “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”Albert Einstein

Teaching Quotes: Bertrand Russell

10. “More important than the curriculum is the question of the methods of teaching and the spirit in which teaching is given.”Bertrand Russell

Teaching Quotes: Matthea Harvey

11. “Teaching is a great way to keep learning.”Matthea Harvey

Teaching Quotes: Robert Heinlein

12. “When one teaches, two learn.”Robert Heinlein

Teaching Quotes: Thomas Carruthers

13. “A good teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary.”Thomas Carruthers

Teaching Quotes: John Warren

14. “The teacher’s task is to initiate the learning process and then get out of the way.”John Warren

Teaching Quotes: Jacques Barzun

15. “Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition.”Jacques Barzun

Teaching Quotes: J. D. Salinger

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

Teaching Quotes: David Haselkorn

17. “Teaching is the essential profession, the one that makes all professions possible.”David Haselkorn

Teaching Quotes: Ruth Beechick

18. “A teacher who loves learning earns the right and the ability to help others learn.”Ruth Beechick

Teaching Quotes: Darwin Martin

19. “A teacher’s job is to take a bunch of live wires and see that they are well-grounded.”Darwin Martin

Teaching Quotes: Scott Hayden

20. “Teachers have three loves: love of learning, love of learners, and the love of bringing the first two loves together.”Scott Hayden

Sky Blue Divider

Teaching Quotes: Honourable Mentions

21. “In teaching it is the method and not the content that is the message.” — Ashley Montagu

22. “The most effective teacher will always be biased, for the chief force in teaching is confidence and enthusiasm.” — Joyce Cary

23. “What an educator does in teaching is to make it possible for the students to become themselves.” — Paulo Freire

24. “Your worst enemy is your best teacher.” — Gautama Buddha

25. “Educate the children and it won’t be necessary to punish the men.” — Pythagoras

26. “Teaching is the highest form of understanding.” — Aristotle

27. “I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well.” — Alexander the Great (one of history’s greatest military minds and Aristotle’s student)

28. “Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theater.” — Gail Godwin

29. “Nine-tenths of education is encouragement.” — Anatole France

30. “A good teacher is like a candle – it consumes itself to light the way for others.” — Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

31. “The greatest teachers are the ones without an agenda.” — James Pierce

32. “Education is the transmission of civilization.” — Will Durant

33. “A master can tell you what he expects of you. A teacher, though, awakens your own expectations.” — Patricia Neal

34. “Teaching is an instinctual art, mindful of potential, craving of realizations, a pausing, seamless process.” — A. Bartlett Giamatti

35. “The best education is not given to students; it is drawn out of them.” — Gerald Belcher

36. “Good teaching is more a giving of right questions than a giving of right answers.” — Josef Albers

37. “Teaching is the perpetual end and office of all things. Teaching, instruction is the main design that shines through the sky and earth.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

38. “Any genuine teaching will result, if successful, in someone’s knowing how to bring about a better condition of things than existed earlier.” — John Dewey

39. “When the untapped potential of a student meets the liberating art of a teacher, a miracle unfolds.” — Mary Hatwood Futrell

40. “In teaching you cannot see the fruit of a day’s work. It is invisible and remains so, maybe for twenty years.” — Jacques Barzun

41. “The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.” — C.S. Lewis

42. “The best teachers impart knowledge through sleight of hand, like a magician.” — Kate Betts

43. “We teach best what we most need to learn.” — Richard Bach

44. “When you study great teachers… you will learn much more from their caring and hard work than from their style.” — William Glasser

45. “A true teacher defends his pupils against his own personal influence.” — Amos Bronson Alcott

46. “The teacher must be an actor, an artist, passionately in love with his work.” — Anton Chekhov

47. “A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination and instill a love of learning.” — Brad Henry

48. “A teacher is a compass that activates the magnets of curiosity, knowledge and wisdom in the pupils.” — Ever Garrison

49. “One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings.” — Carl Jung

50. “I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.” — Socrates

51. “Teachers teach someone something, in that order.” — Samuel Natale

52. “To know how to suggest is the art of teaching.” — Henri-Frédéric Amiel

53. “Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.” — John Steinbeck

54. “Proper teaching is recognised with ease. You can know it without fail because it awakens within you that sensation which tells you this is something you have always known.” — Frank Herbert

55. “The best teacher lodges an intent not in the mind but in the heart.” — Anne Michaels

56. “So what does a good teacher do? Create tension – but just the right amount.” — Donald Norman

57. “Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is best.” — Bob Talbert

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

59. “The teacher must adopt the role of facilitator not content provider.” — Lev S. Vygotsky

60. “A good teacher does something more than teaching; he makes you start learning.” — Raheel Farooq

Final Words

There you have it. 60 spectacular teaching quotes that underline just how important teachers are. If you’re anything like us, this list will make you want to reach out to an old teacher or mentor to say thank you!

Do you have a favourite teaching quote? Did we miss a good one? Let us know across our social media channels (LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook).

Want more quotes? Check out our 70 quotes about learning, 70 quotes about motivation and 65 quotes about workplace learning

And don’t forget to give any teachers in your life a high five next time you see them!

Are you a teacher, instructor or trainer with a knowledge-hungry audience? Create gamified digital learning interventions at the speed of need with Growth Engineering Authoring Tool. Sign up for a 21-day free trial today!

Like What You're Reading? Join the Growth Squad!

Subscribe now to receive exclusive access to our weekly newsletter. It’s packed full of the best L&D research, analysis and downloadable resources.

Table of Contents

Share Post

Read More About L&D

Like What You're Reading? Join the Growth Squad!

Subscribe now to receive exclusive access to our weekly newsletter. It’s packed full of the best L&D research, analysis and downloadable resources.


Unlock The World’s Most Impactful L&D Resources!

Our unrivalled treasure trove of white papers, research, tip sheets, infographics and more gives you all the L&D knowledge you need to start making an impact today. Happy exploring!

We are always working to improve your experience on our website. Part of this involves using cookies to collect data for statistics and personalization. Further information can be found in our Privacy Policy and Cookies Policy.