An Inspiring Quote for Every Day of the Year

365 Quotes for Teachers: Inspiration and Motivation for Every Day of the Year 
By Danny Steele
(Routledge/Eye On Education, 2022 – Learn more)

Reviewed by Anne Anderson

365 Quotes for Teachers: Inspiration and Motivation for Every Day of the Year is a collection of motivation thoughts. Danny Steele, a principal in Birmingham, Alabama, is known for his motivational @steelethoughts tweets.

In the Introduction the author explains how he began sharing his thoughts on Twitter about the core values that drive teachers. Steele tells readers that “these quotes are meant to motivate you, challenge you, and to help you keep your job in perspective.” (p.1)

There does not seem to be a right or wrong way to use this book. In fact, there appear to be several approaches readers can take. Some teachers might make reading a quote part of their morning ritual. Some teachers will start with the first quote and move forward.

If you prefer to follow threads on the same general subject, the author has also prepared an Index of Quotes by Topic. These include:

Connecting with and Knowing Your Students
Connecting with Parents and Families
Connecting with Colleagues
Effective Teaching
Commitment and Attitude
Student Behavior

Others might do what I did when I first received the book – I just opened it up and ruminated on the quote before me.

Quote 122: When you ask the class if they have any questions, and nobody raises their hand . . . that does NOT mean everyone understands.

My thoughts: I know this. But perhaps knowing is not the problem; I may have become lackadaisical! I have a teacher toolbox with several techniques I know would be more engaging. I probably need to rethink today’s presentation.

Quote 212: We don’t define our success by our salary, our last promotion, or the zip code of our school. Our success is found in the difference we make for our students and for our colleagues. It’s hard to measure, and it’s hard to quantify . . . but it’s what gives our work true meaning.

My thoughts: I know this, but we can’t hear it too often. At the end of a really rough day, week, month, or school year, I need these words. We all need to recharge our batteries. When every bone in our bodies aches and our spirits are depleted, reflecting on #212 might be the reminder we need.

Quote 11: I don’t think teachers will be remembered primarily for their lessons. I think they will be remembered for their energy . . . their attitude . . . and their relationships. Lessons are important . . . but they don’t tell the entire story. The legacy of a teacher is more than that.

My thoughts: I know this, but it’s valuable advice near the beginning and toward the ending of our careers in the classroom. Let me be remembered for laughing at myself when I made a mistake. Let me be remembered for pushing my students to do their best. Let me be remembered for instilling in them a love of reading and learning. Let me be remembered for that hug, that smile, or that nod that said, “I love you.”

365 Quotes for Teachers: Inspiration and Motivation for Every Day of the Year does what the author intends: motivates, challenges, and helps keep the job in perspective. Some quotes will resonate with you more than others; keep those before you for more than one day.

You can take the weekends and summer off. That gives you enough quotes to power through for close to two school years! And when you revisit a quote two or three years from now, you will find it has a completely different meaning for you.

Quote 365: We wake up . . . we go to work . . . we are kind to those around us . . . we come home and love our family. We make our little corner of the world a better place because we are here. That’s what we do.

Anne Anderson always knew she wanted to be a teacher. She graduated from East Texas Baptist University with an English major and History minor and did graduate work at Louisiana State University and Louisiana Tech University. After teaching 8th graders for 24 years, Anne served as a content coach. Since retiring in 2011, Anne has worked as an educational consultant, presenting at national conferences and onsite trainings for public and private schools.

Calendar Celebrations: March, April, May is the third book in Anne Anderson’s series on resources for months of the year. (She wrote about the first one here and the second one here.) Anne has also published articles in IDEAS Plus and Voices from the Middle, publications of the National Council of Teachers of English. She is a frequent reviewer of professional books for MiddleWeb.com.

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