Quotations for Teachers

“Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.” (Jesus Christ as recorded in Matthew 18:4-5)

“Some degree of humility is a precondition for learning.” (Mark Schwehn, Exiles from Eden, p. 49)


Parker J Palmer

“We teach who we are.” (Parker J Palmer, The Courage to Teach, p. 1)

“’All real living is meeting’ said Martin Buber, and teaching is endless meeting.” (Parker J Palmer, The Courage to Teach, p. 16)

“Our knowledge of the world comes from gathering around great things in a complex and interactive community of truth. … Good teaching is always and essentially communal. … Community, or connectedness, is the principle behind good teaching.” (Parker J Palmer, The Courage to Teach, p. 115)

“The goal of a knowledge arising from love is the reunification and reconstruction of broken selves and worlds.” (Parker J Palmer, To Know As We Are Known, p. 8)

Francis Su

Francis Su

“Persi was an inspiring teacher, but this simple act of kindness—of authentic humanness—gave me a greater capacity and motivation to learn from him, because we had entered into authentic community with each other, as teacher and student, who were real people to each other.” (Francis Su, ‘The Lesson of Grace in Teaching: From Weakness to Wholeness, the Struggle and the Hope’ in The Mathematical Yawp, a truly inspirational blog which is worth reading as a whole!)

“Shalom incorporates delight in one’s relationships. To dwell in shalom is to find delight in living rightly before God, to find delight in living rightly in one’s physical surroundings, to find delight in living rightly with one’s fellow human beings, to find delight even in living rightly with oneself.” (Nicholas P Wolterstorff, Educating for Shalom, p. 23)

Samson Makhado

 Samson Makhado

“Teachers should develop a situation where children are seen as gifted, honoured guests who have something to share with others. They move from controlling students to strategies that provide students with the space to develop their gifts and pursue their calling. … Students will seldom believe they have anything to bring unless there is someone who will show their willingness to ‘receive’ them. Indeed, we discover our gifts in the eyes of the receiver. Teachers who can detach themselves from their need to impress and control and who can allow themselves to become recipients will find that it is when the gift is received it becomes more conspicuous.” (Samson Makhado & Dean Spalding, ‘Community and Hospitality in a Multicultural Classroom’ in Journal of Education & Christian Belief, 5:2, pp. 136-137)

“Through dialogue, the teacher-of-the-students and the students-of-the-teacher cease to exist and a new term emerges: teacher-student with students-teachers. The teacher is no longer the-one-who-teaches, but who is himself taught in dialogue with the students, who in turn while being taught also teach.” (Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, p. 80)

“Without a narrative, life has no meaning. Without meaning, learning has no purpose. Without a purpose, schools are houses of detention, not attention.” (Neil Postman, The End of Education, p. 7)