inspirational quotes

16 Inspirational Quotes to Share with Your Students

Teachers are a source of inspiration for students, so it’s no wonder they are always looking for fresh, relevant inspirational quotes to share in their classes.

Some inspirational quotes have been overused to the point where they become white noise fading into the background. If your walls are covered in cat posters that say things like “Believe!” – it just might be time to find new words of wisdom in unexpected places. We compiled some incredibly insightful and inspirational quotes from pop culture, philosophers, past presidents, and yes, even the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Post one on your chalkboard, whiteboard, or above your classroom bookcase — it could be the one that makes a difference to your students.

1. Who doesn’t love Star Wars?¬†Your students might just listen to Yoda who famously said: “Do or do not — there is no try.”

2. Mr. Miyagi, the great teacher in the “Karate Kid” movie, gave similar advice in his inspirational quote: “It’s okay to lose to opponent. It’s never okay to lose to fear.”

3. Your students might remember Ms. Frizzle of “The Magic School Bus” series. They’ll appreciate the throwback reference to the advice she gave her students: “Take chances, make mistakes, get messy.”

4. Gandalf the Grey of “Lord of the Rings” was a bit more philosophical, but reminded us in his inspirational quote: “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

5. But the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella cautioned, “Even miracles take a little time.”

6. Who gave better advice than Fred Rogers of “Mister Rogers Neighborhood?” Teachers can especially take inspiration from his insight: “Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people.”

7. Master Shifu of “Kung Fu Panda 3” is incredibly insightful for an animated character: “If you only do what you can, you will never be more than you are now.”

8. How much we all learned from Harry Potter! Albus Dumbledore in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” had this inspirational quote relevant to any classroom: “Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”

9. Television characters also give us inspirational quotes. Will Schuester from “Glee” said: “It’s not the broken dreams that break us. It’s the ones we don’t dare to dream.”

10. John Kennedy was a president so eloquent in speech that his inspirational quotes are still remembered as ways to build character. Who can forget, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country?” But he also said: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

11. Plato perhaps had the best advice against bullying: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”

12. And strangely enough, Master Splinter of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” agreed when he said: “There is not a monster more dangerous than a lack of compassion.”

13. “If you let people’s perception of you dictate your behavior, you will never grow as a person,” advised George Feeny in “Boy Meets World.”

14. Super heroes, too, sometimes are known for inspirational quotes. Charles Xavier of X-Men fame said: “The greatest power on Earth is the magnificent power all of us possess … the power of the human brain!”

15. Testing days might benefit from this inspirational quote from Wiz Khalifa: “Worrying is stupid. It’s like walking around with an umbrella, waiting for it to rain.”

16. “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value,” said Albert Einstein.

Try posting an inspirational quote each day, week, or month and those simple words of wisdom just might be the thing that your students remember when they need encouragement the most!

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Sue Hamilton

Sue is a Pennsylvania native and graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she earned a B.S. degree in English. She worked as a radio newscaster and newspaper reporter before becoming a paralegal in a small civil law firm. Reading is her passion and Sue is an avid volunteer with her community library.

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