Inspiring Quotations For Teachers and Volunteers

These quotations, both famous and not-so-famous, can remind us what’s really important about our work. The first set of quotations consists mostly of inspirational thoughts about volunteering. The second set of quotes can help us to be most effective in the teaching of reading.

If you find any corrections for these quotes, or have any other quotations to offer, please write us.

Inspiring Quotations for Volunteers

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead

You cannot help someone get up a hill without getting closer to the top yourself.
General H. Norman Schwarzkopf

"Well see," said Sasha, "it just happened one day and suddenly it felt like ‘Yippee, I CAN READ,’" and he threw up his arms and laughed, "and it made me feel different inside my tummy. I felt kind of powerful."
V. Polakow

One hundred years from now, It will not matter what kind of car I drove, What kind of house I lived in, Or how much money I had in the bank, But the world may be a better place because I made a difference in a child’s life.
Author unknown

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
Mahatma Gandhi

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Education is a vaccine for violence.
Edward James Olmos

No man is so poor as to have nothing worth giving. Give what you have. To someone it may be better than you dare to think.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Everyone can be great because everyone can serve.
Martin Luther King Jr.

Quotations About the Teaching of Reading

Enthusiasm is contagious; start an epidemic.
Don Ward

Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I’ll understand.
Author unknown

If a seed of lettuce will not grow, we do not blame the lettuce. Instead, the fault lies with us for not having nourished the seed properly.
Buddhist proverb.

A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.

Books are like old friends.You know them well and they are fun to visit again and again.Like a visit with an old friend, reading something familiar is fun and supports the development of the reader. Old favorites are selections children have already read and know well and are the first thing to read in the tutoring session.
We recommend rereading at least two old favorites if time allows.

Lesley Mandel Morrow and Barbara J. Walker

The Reading Team: A Handbook for Volunteer Tutors K-3
Go with the kids…do whatever works!

Nobody cares how much you know unless they know how much you care.
Author unknown

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.
Albert Einstein

Reading aloud to children teaches vocabulary in one of the most natural ways possible. Most of the questions come from them rather than the teacher. Words that are puzzling can be quickly explained in the context of the story.
Frank B. May
Reading as Communication

Teaching…can be likened to a conversation in which you listen to the speaker carefully before you reply.
Marie Clay

Choice isn’t just about picking a book. Choice is about allowing reluctant readers to retain ownership of, and to take responsibility for, the processes in which they are engaged and the topics they care about. Putting choice into their hands allows reluctant readers to feel the power and control over reading that all good readers feel.
Ron Jobe and Mary Dayton-Sakari
Reluctant Readers: Connecting students and books for successful reading experiences.

When I worked on my game, that’s what I thought about. When it happened, I set another goal, a reasonable, manageable goal that I could realistically achieve if I worked hard enough. I guess I approached it with the end in mind. I knew exactly where I wanted to go, and I focused on getting there.
Michael Jordan

Children should spend less time completing workbooks and skill sheets…there is little evidence that these activities are related to reading achievement.
Becoming a Nation of Readers: The Report of the Commission on Reading
Richard C. Anderson, Elfrieda H. Hiebert, Judith A. Scott, and Ian A.G. Wilkinson

Furious activity is no substitute for understanding.
H. H. Williams

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
Mason Cooley

Kids not only need to read a lot but they need lots of books they can read right at their fingertips.They also need access to books that entice them, attract them to reading. Schools…can make it easy and unrisky for children to take books home for the evening or weekend by worrying less about losing books to children and more about losing children to illiteracy.
Richard L. Allington
What Really Matters for Struggling Readers: Designing Research-Based Programs

I have one rule–attention. They give me theirs and I give them mine.
Sister Evangelist RSM

It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations–something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own.
Katherine Patterson

The secret of education is respecting the pupil.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

As the child approaches a new text he is entitled to an introduction so that when he reads, the gist of the… story can provide some guide for a fluent reading.
Marie Clay

Encouragement is oxygen to the soul.
George M. Adams

Children should spend more time writing. As well as being valuable in its own right, writing promotes ability in reading.

It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish.
S.I. Hayakawa

Almost anything can become a learning experience if there is enough caring involved.
Mary MacCracken