Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, once heard a colleague say, “They don’t pay me to like the kids.” Her response: “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.
A teacher will be frustrated if she is only motivated to teach what she has learned. Yet, if she is motivated because of the students, then she will learn from them how to teach.
— Tanya R. Liverman, Memoirs of an Educarer: An Inspiration for Education
Generally she kept her head down, but on the occasions she raised it she was treated to the most intimate of panoramic views: the scattered possessions of the three people she had created. Several small items made her cry: a tiny woollen bootie, a broken orthodontic retainer, a woggle from a cub-scout tie. She had not become Malcolm X’s private secretary. She never did direct a movie or run for the Senate. She could not fly a plane. But here was all this.
— Zadie Smith, On Beauty
He glanced back at the wall. How like a mirror, too, her face. Impossible; for how many people did you know who reflected your own light to you? People were more often–he searched for a simile, found one in his work–torches, blazing away until they whiffed out. How rarely did other people’s faces take of you and throw back to you your own expression, your own innermost trembling thought?
— Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
Children are not children. They are just younger people. We have the same soul at sixty that we had at forty, and the same soul at twenty-five that we had when we were five. If anything, children are wiser. They know more than we do, and have at least as much to teach us as we have to teach them. How dare we try to fit them into our boxes and make them play by our rules, which are so very, very stupid? How dare we tell them anything when we live in a world so obviously backward? And how ungrateful and irreverent we are to listen so little and watch so casually when angels themselves have moved into the house.
— Marianne Williamson, A Woman’s Worth
The effects you will have on your students are infinite and currently unknown; you will possibly shape the way they proceed in their careers, the way they will vote, the way they will behave as partners and spouses, the way they will raise their kids.
— Donna Quesada, Buddha in the Classroom: Zen Wisdom to Inspire Teachers