I remember my first teacher. I remember the teachers I had throughout primary school, and some of the faces of the teachers I had in Nursery school.
I remember them for their kindness and the fun they brought to my life (yes, I found school fun). But I remember them most for the change they brought to me. A woman named Mrs. Dade taught me the value of math. A teacher named Ms. Lennon taught me to read. A teacher named Mr. Elder taught me about US History when I was in 4th grade and I still quote his class in discussions about the US Civil War.
These teachers changed me through their work. Education turned me from a boy who was obsessed with playing sports outside into an avid reader who loved “beating” the math problems put in front of me.
Teachers are the foundations of societies because their trade is the lifeblood of humanity. Education shapes minds, lives, communities and the world.
A run-in with a friend who became a teacher recently had me reflecting on this truth, and so I wanted to see the truth of education through the eyes of leaders in history.
Here is a sampling of some of my favorite quotes that embody the power and value of influence in society.
“You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.”
-Clay P. Bedford
“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”
-Henry B. Adams
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
“Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.”
“Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education.”
-Martin Luther King Jr.
“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.”
“What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to the human soul.”
- Joseph Addison
“Education makes a people easy to lead but difficult to drive: easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.”
“You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.”
“Marriage can wait, education cannot.”
― Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns
“Let us pick up our books and our pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.”
― Malala Yousafzai
“Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.”
Education cost money, but then so does ignorance.
Those last two quotes I love because it reminds me that the power of education is not something that can be taken for granted. The teachers that inspired me to seek out these quotes taught me because it was their job. While they may have done it for free, the reality is they need to be paid to be able to teach me and my fellow classmates.
Education requires national investment and broad community support.
Find out about how the seemingly simple idea of getting young people educated can truly change the world and end extreme poverty.