5 Inspirational Back to School Quotes for Teachers

Back to School Quotes for Teachers

I thought I’d put together a list of inspirational back to school quotes for teachers because I LOVE ‘EM.

Too busy to read this now? Download the PDF version for future reference!

Teachers, I’m so thankful for the work you do. You continue to show up year after year. I literally do not know how you do it. With everything that’s been going on in regards to the teacher retirement funds, I hope you know the opinions of a few do not represent the whole.

You have been (and are still being!), fought for.

Hopefully these back to school quotes for teachers will give you a little boost as you prepare to face the upcoming school year.

1. “If kids come to us from strong, healthy functioning families, it makes our job easier. If they do not come to us from strong, healthy, functioning families, it makes our job more important.” —Barbara Colorose

Some of you are the closest these kids will ever get to having a loving mother or father…a person who sees their potential, believes in them, and pushes them to be the best they can be. They come to school eager to learn and sit in your class because, for the first time, they feel loved, noticed, and appreciated. For many children, you are all they have and they rely heavily on what you have to offer them.

Those are the best 8 hours of their day and what you do inside those four walls can literally make all the difference in the world.

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

A good number of my favorite teachers definitely did NOT teach my favorite subject (#Geometry #Physics #USHistory) and yet…they taught me so much. Now, stay with me. I learned a lot from my favorite teachers who did teach my favorite subject (S/O to my English, Art, and Psychology/Sociology teachers)! I’m just trying to make a point here.

Your students don’t necessarily have to love the class in order to love YOU. In other words, your students don’t have to enjoy the subject in order to be influenced by your teachings. The teachers who inspired me the most are the ones who always took their lessons a step further and found ways to teach me about life. My dislike for their subject didn’t hinder them from encouraging me in the subjects I did like. They knew and understood my gifts, my passions, and my interests, and they pushed me towards those things.

back to school quotes

3. “I’m not sayin’ I’m gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will.” —Tupac Shakur

Many of you are the reason we become dreamers. By believing in our potential and calling it out, you make us feel as if we really can make something of ourselves in this big, wide world.

Every single day of my senior year, my Psychology/Sociology teacher ended class with, “RISE, GO FORTH, AND CONQUER!” Okay, I’m actually starting to tear up while writing this. On days when the bell caught us by surprise and we were rushing to gather our things, she’d always make time to holler this “blessing” over the rustling of papers and voices which made it even more dramatic and worthwhile.

I left her classroom feeling empowered…like I could do anything in the world (thanks, Bard!). She planted something in my soul no words could ever explain. I am eternally grateful.

Ironically, that same teacher who made me feel unstoppable is using her “teacher voice” and speaking on behalf of retired teachers to fight the TRS bills. Through her own personal example, she continues to inspire me and spark in me a belief in myself unlike any other…and I’ve been out of her classroom for 6 years.

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

First of all, I just googled “consume” and found a definition that says to consume is to do away with completely. I’m not going to lie, I laughed a little because that’s literally what you do…am I right OR AM I RIGHT? You do away with extracurricular activities and “free” time because you have a job to do and lives to change.

I’m allowed to say this because I come from a family of teachers. I know good and well what you do after hours…and it ain’t easy.

You arrive early and stay late…and when you get home, you’re STILL NOT FINISHED. So, you cook dinner for your family, tuck them in bed, and then get back to work grading papers, organizing stations, changing seating arrangements (because Kristin and Cody absolutely cannot sit together), developing lesson plans, redeveloping lesson plans, scheduling parent/teacher conferences, responding to emails, buying classroom supplies, figuring out how to help so-and-so better understand the subject, worrying about the home life of certain students, etc…and then you start all over again the next day. 


Your job never ends. And yet, it is because of your selflessness and devotion, your willingness to always put your students and their needs before your own, that a child is able to walk forward confidently and boldly.

5. “Teachers affect eternity; no one can tell where their influence stops.” —Henry Brooks Adams

The influence you have on the lives of students is indefinite. You can’t see where it ends because it DOESN’T end. We take a piece of you with us everywhere we go.

As my mom always says, “It takes a village!” It takes all of you to get us where we’re going.

I was blessed with the opportunity to speak to some of my former teachers (K-8th) at their in-service a few years ago. I desperately wanted (and needed!) them to be reminded of the impact they make on the lives of students every single day by simply using the gifts and passions God has given them to serve others right where they are…so I went through all 13 yearbooks and wrote down every single teacher, aide, secretary, principal, and administrator who I vividly remembered touched my life somehow.

77ppl at White Oak ISD influenced my life in at least one way or another…and that’s just one student!

By simply being present in the lives of your students and giving them 100% of yourself, day in and day out, you are rewriting their life story for the better.

Think about the hundreds of students that have come and gone throughout the years and all the lives you’ve touched. These students may enter your room for a year or two, but I promise you, you enter their hearts forever.

Your influence doesn’t end in the classroom, or in the library, or the office.

It walks across that stage with us and sticks with us the rest of our lives.

Teachers, thank you all you do to make our world a better place. You are my favorite kind of people. I’m praying for you as you begin this new school year. May you never forget you have a high calling.

God IS working through you (even though it’s hard to see at times).

Have faith, stay the course, and keep changing lives!

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  1. Tosin Moji

    On be half of all the teachers that are not yet ready to go back to work, I thank you for giving us that extra nudge 🙂

    1. Kristin Koonce Post author

      Awww, you’re so welcome! Thank you for taking the time to read it and comment. You are the best! 🙂

  2. T Cook

    You bring happy tears to my eyes!! There are students that touch teachers too and make an impact on us. You remind us of why we do it. 😘


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