1Some of my favorite quotes can be used to describe the “perfect” teacher.2

“The mind is a terrible thing to close.” – Saphrym

Yeah. I said that one. It’s a play on the old slogan of the mind is a terrible thing to waste. But it means that we should always keep an open mind. And that goes double or even triple for teachers.

“If you capture kids’ hearts, you have their heads. If you don’t capture their hearts, you have no business messing with their heads.” – Menville Flippen

Teaching is not just about spitting out information for students to learn. Teachers are role models whether we want to be or not. Students will come to us for advice. They will want us to understand them as people. If a teacher doesn’t want that part of teaching, they should probably pick a different career.

“Know your students.”

I have no idea who said that, but it is the foundation of teaching. How can you possibly provide the best education for a student without knowing about that student? Sure, a mediocre education can be provided to just about anyone, but the best education can only be provided when the teacher knows how to teach each individual student. That requires knowledge of the student.

Those are the 3 quotes I live my life and professional life by. Of course, I’ve recently added another one to that:

“Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible.” – Claude Bissell

It may be a common cadet quote, but I think it fits the teacher profession quite well too. Don’t you?

  1. The following was in response to a discussion question at my University’s forums. []
  2. Although there is no such thing as a perfect teacher because there’s always more to learn. []