Inspirational quotes

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
What is honored will be cultivated.
A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.
Herbert A. Simon
Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.
Japanese Proverb
One who aims at nothing hits it every time.
Jason V. Barger, Breathing Oxygen, 2022
. . . shift their line of sight from looking out the rearview mirror (where they’ve been and what they’ve experienced lately) to looking out the windshield (where they desire to go). Where you look is where you go!
Jason V. Barger, Thermostat Cultures, 2016
The task of leadership is to create an alignment of strengths so strong that it makes the system’s weaknesses irrelevant. Peter Drucker
Peter Drucker
As Ericsson puts it, learning is not a way of reaching your potential; it is a way of developing it.
James Anderson, The Agile Learner, 2021
You can’t choose your potential, but you can choose to fulfill it.
Theodore Roosevelt
The greatest danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low and achieving our work.
It takes far more strength for leaders to collaborate with their people than to micromanage them.
Stephen M. R. Covey, Trust & Inspire
As a leader . . . your principal job is to create an operating environment where others can do great things.
Richard Teerlink
You can go from job to career to calling—all without changing your occupation.
Angela Duckworth
Great leaders . . . are able to inspire people to act. Those who are able to inspire give people a sense of purpose, or belonging . . . are able to create a following of people who act not because they were swayed, but because they were inspired.
Simon Sinek
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
Anne Frank
Culture drives strategy.
Rob Robson, World Education Summit 2023
Don’t treat people according to their behavior; treat them according to their potential.
Stephen M. Covey, 2022, Trust & Inspire
Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.
James Baldwin, Author and Poet
I rent my title . . . I own my character.
Thasunda Brown Duckett, President and CEO of TIAA
People close their ears to advice and open their eyes to example.
Stephen M. Covey, 2022, Trust & Inspire
The essence of learning is the ability of learners to create meaning by making connections among the various experiences they’ve encountered and retell the story.
Heidi Hayes Jacobs and Allison Zmuda, 2023, Streamlining the Curriculum
Books are indispensable because they are absent teachers.
Faisal Hoque, Everything Connects, 2022
Much of the job of the leader is to become a curator of talent.
Faisal Hoque, Everything Connects, 2022
Making connections between disparate things is a key to creative thinking.
Faisal Hoque, Everything Connects, 2022
Einstein’s approach? He’d spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem and five minutes solving it.
Faisal Hoque, Everything Connects, 2022
A leader is a person who takes responsibility for the impact they make on the world.
Faisal Hoque, Everything Connects, 2022
Every day the clock resets. Your wins don’t matter. Your failures don’t matter. Don’t stress on what was, fight for what could be.
Sean Higgins
The underlying architecture of our success . . . is the knowledge that everything connects.
Faisal Hoque, Everything Connects, 2022
Those who know do not tell; those who tell do not know.
Tao Te Ching
He that thinks most, will say least.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The role of a leader is not to come up with all the great ideas. The role of the leader is to create an environment in which great ideas can happen.
Simon Sinek
Isolation is the number one enemy of excellence.
Greg Saliccioli, The Enemies of Excellence, 2011
. . . described our life as a basket woven from many different strands, each essential for a strong container. Each of the demands of our life is one strand in this basket. It is impossible to weave multiple strands at the same time; we need to attend to the strand that requires our attention without losing awareness of the others. Every strand will get our attention, just not all at the same time.
Margaret J. Wheatley, Who Do We Choose to Be?, 2023
There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.
Margaret J. Wheatley, Who Do We Choose to Be?, 2023
Education systems generally remain rooted in the past. The answer is not simply to do more of what has always been done. The solutions we require are not in the rearview mirror. The challenge is not to reform our systems but to transform them.
Sir Ken Robinson, What If, 2022
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
African Proverb
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
Nelson Mandela
Shifting culture requires learning together.
The Learning Professional, 2023
Children are born with whirlwinds, forest fires and comets inside them . . . able to sing to birds and read the clouds . . . this is the blueprint of the mind.
Robert McCommon
A rich child who possesses many resources at birth and with an extraordinary potential which has never ceased to amaze us . . . this is a gifted child for whom we need a gifted teacher.
Loris Malaguzzi
Time devoted to building the capacity of teachers to work in teams is far better spent than time devoted to observing individual teachers. DuFour & Marzano, Educational Leadership, 2009
DuFour & Marzano, Educational Leadership, 2009
Hire people not to fall in line; hire people that will form new lines.
Todd Whitaker, World Education Summit, 2023
We live in a world that is overmanaged and underled.
Stephen Covey, Trust & Inspire, 2022
The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions that have been hidden by the answers.
James Baldwin
What you learn today, for no reason at all, will help you discover all the wonderful secrets of tomorrow.
Norton Juster
Instead of time being the constant and learning the variable, make learning the constant and time the variable.
Frederick M. Hess, Rethinking School Time, 2023
Rules direct us to average behaviors. If we’re aiming to create works that are exceptional, most rules don’t apply. Average is nothing to aspire to.
Rick Rubin, The Creative Act: A Way of Being, 2023
If you want to make a sustainable change at work, you are more likely to succeed if you approach your change as a gardener, not a mechanic.
Gary Lloyd, Gardeners Not Mechanics, 2021
The things we fear most in organizations – fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances – are the primary sources of creativity.
Margaret J. Wheatley
The relationship between Steve Jobs and ‘useless’ humanities programs such as calligraphy should not be ignored.
David Barash, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Have we raised a generation of people for whom learning has come down to passing a test? Learning should prepare a student for both life and a career.
Temple Grandin, Visual Thinking, 2022
The most common disconnection between rhetoric and the reality of failure is the institutionalized use of the average, in which students are regularly punished at the end of the semester for the mistakes that they made months earlier.
Douglas Reeves, Nancy Frey, Douglas Fisher, Confronting the Crisis of Engagement, 2023
Radical change is not made overnight but in thousands of choices pointed in the same direction. These choices push us further and further until one day we find we are strong. We are immovable. And when we look at the horizon and see the next storm moving in, we need not find shelter. Nothing can displace us with the strength of these roots.
C. Cunningham, Magnolia, 2022
Structural change that is not supported by cultural change will eventually be overwhelmed by the culture, for it is in the culture that any organization finds meaning and stability.
P. C. Schlechty, Shaking up the Schoolhouse, 2001
The smaller the number of priorities, the higher the probability of impact.
Building to Impact, 2022
We don’t need schools that make kids memorize the names of planets. We need schools that inspire kids to find new planets.
Trish Flanagan, quoted in Ted Dintersmith, What School Could Be, 2018
Once you jump outside of the box, there’s endless running room.
Ted Dintersmith, What School Could Be, 2018
Good teachers introduce new thoughts, but great teachers introduce new ways of thinking.
Adam Grant, Think Again, 2021
We learn more from people who challenge our thought process than those who affirm our conclusions.
Adam Grant, Think Again, 2021
Progress is impossible without change; and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
George Bernard Shaw
The mind is not a vessel that needs filling but wood that needs igniting.
Definition of wisdom: Using your knowledge while doubting what you know.
Pfeffer and Sutton, quoted in Fullan and Scott, Turnaround Leadership for Higher Education, 2009
Whereas today’s schools teach children to remember known answers to known problems, students need to come up with innovative solutions to uncertain problems.
Ron Beghetto, quoted in Yong Zhao, Learners Without Borders, 2022
What we know today doesn’t make yesterday wrong, it makes tomorrow better.
Carol Commodore
Education is a conversation, not a transfusion.
Sir Ken Robinson
. . . for every complex problem, there are solutions that are clear, simple, and wrong.
G. Williamson McDiarmid and Yong Zhao, Learning for Uncertainty, 2022
Equipped with the skills to monitor their own learning, discipline-specific methods of inquiry, and basic knowledge of key information, processes, and ideas in the traditional subject matters, students can truly become the much-touted “lifelong learners” who are featured in 21st-century skills literature.
McDiarmid & Zhao, Learning for Uncertainty, 2022
The less we know about a topic, the more we may believe we know.
McDiarmid & Zhao, Learning for Uncertainty, 2022
Give children toys without batteries.
Tony Wagner, World Education Summit, 2022
The future of education is to move from seat time to mastery. Currently, a transcript is a certificate of seat time.
Tony Wagner, World Education Summit, 2022
Strive to make both yourself and your team feel safe, but not comfortable.
Julie C. Henry, Wisdom From the Wild, 2021
Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation, and Stanford Research Center conducted a study that shows 85% of job success comes from having well-developed soft skills and people skills, while only 15% of job success comes from technical skills and knowledge (or hard skills).
Julie C. Henry, Wisdom From the Wild, 2021
Powerful learning is the result of deliberate design.
Jim Short & Stephanie Hirsch, The Elements: Transforming Teaching through Curriculum-based Professional Learning, 2020
Thirty spokes join together at one hub, but it is the hole in the center that makes it operable. Clay is molded into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that makes it useful. Doors and windows are cut to make a room; it is the empty spaces that we use. Therefore, existence is what we have, but non-existence is what we use.
Laozi, quoted by Zhu Xiao-Mei in The Secret Piano, 2007
Many renowned scholars know that the most important discoveries are the result of long and in-depth study of a very specific topic. By doing so, you develop a method that can be applied to any subject.
Zhu Xiao-Mei, The Secret Piano, 2007
Through learning we re-create ourselves . . . [and] . . . we become able to do something we never were able to do. Through learning we reperceive the world and our relationship to it. Through learning we extend our capacity to create, to be part of the generative process of life . . . There is within each of us a deep hunger for this type of learning.
Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline, 1990
All of our knowledge results from questions, which is another way of saying that question asking is our most important intellectual tool.
Neil Postman, quoted in Sattes & Walsh, Leading Through Quality Questioning, 2010
The most creative and successful people tend to be expert questioners.
Warren Berger, A More Beautiful Question, 2014
With regard to the knowledge we learn in breadth, we rely always on the expertise of others; when learning in depth, we develop our own expertise.
Kieran Egan, Learning in Depth, 2010
I think people who have only the sketchiest sense of knowledge, because they know nothing in depth, easily confuse their wishes, needs, and opinions with knowledge, and in so doing create many of our most serious social and political problems.
Kieran Egan, Learning in Depth, 2010
Change must be timely to adapt to a world that is rapidly changing. But change must also be anchored in something timeless so that one is not lost in the waves of change.
Pak Tee Ng, Learning From Singapore, 2017
Education is investment, not expenditure.
Pak Tee NG, World Education Summit, 2021
Singapore changes when it is still successful. One should not wait until one has a problem before one is forced to change. One changes before one has a problem. This is the essence of timely change. Timely change occurs in anticipation of the future. It is change launched from a position of strength rather than one of desperation.
Pak Tee Ng, Learning From Singapore: The Power of Paradoxes, 2017
Good ideas fail due to poor implementation.
John Hattie, World Education Summit, 2021
Go slow to go fast.
Michael Fullan, World Education Summit, 2021
Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.
John Cotton Dana
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
Every aspect of school change depends on highly skilled teachers for its success.
Linda Darling-Hammond
Our conception is that curriculum should be framed and developed in terms of worthy outputs; i.e., desired performances by the learner, not simply as a listing of content inputs.
McTighe and Wiggins, From Common Core Standards to Curriculum, 2013
The stories we tell literally make the world. If you want to change the world, you need to change your story.
Michael Margolis, quoted in Change Your World, 2021
Nothing has transformed my life more than realizing that it’s a waste of time to evaluate my worthiness by weighing the reaction of the people in the stands.
Brene Brown, quoted in Change Your World, 2021
It is our responsibility to live out what the Bible says in our days. We do this by going back so we can come forward, always proceeding into our world organically connected to what is in our past.
Scot McKnight, The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible, 2018
Life flows when we put our attention on the larger patterns of which we are a part, just as the music soars when a performer distinguishes the notes whose impulse carries the music’s structure from those that are purely decorative.
Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander, The Art of Possibility, 2000
Don’t ask a student what she wants to be when she grows up. Ask her what problem she wants to solve.
Jaime Casap, quoted by T. Vander Ark, 2017
The better questions we ask, the better the answers we get.
Legacy, by James Kerr, 2013
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Rob Siltanen (as narrated by Steve Jobs in Apple’s “Think Different” ad campaign)
If a student can easily “Google” the answer, the question isn’t very challenging.
Eric Sheninger, Disruptive Thinking, 2021
It is what we know already that often prevents us from learning.
Claude Bernard
The thicker the [strategic] plan, the less likely students are learning.
Douglas Reeves, The Learning Leader, 2006
Everything that is measurable is not important, and everything that is important is not measurable.
William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology, 1963