30 inspiring quotes for your students

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The role of a teacher in a young student’s life goes beyond just education. They're a leader, a role model, a coach, an advisor and a facilitator of positive growth. With students spending most of their waking hours at school, it’s up to teachers to create a positive and inspiring environment where children can do their best work.

Posters featuring motivational quotes are an excellent way teachers can instantly transform their classrooms into a more uplifting space. There are many great epigraphs about learning and success you can repurpose to create your own inexpensive classroom posters. Whether you want to encourage them to dream big, work hard or read more, these quotes are sure to inspire your students.

Table of contents:

Quotes about education

Teachers are in the lucky position of being advocates for learning. These positive quotes can help reframe the way your students think about education, so they turn up for school each day feeling excited and eager to learn.

1. Remind your students that education is a privilege…

“The man who does not read books has no advantage over the one who cannot read them.” — Mark Twain

2. Because knowledge is power

“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” — Malcolm X

Encourage your students to start harnessing that power today.

3. For when you want to practice some tough love!

“Teachers can open the door, but you must enter it yourself.” — Chinese proverb

Remind your students that you can give them the tools for education, but it’s up to them to use them.

4. The gift that keeps on giving

“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.” —B.B. King

Encourage your children to hold that gift close to their hearts.

5. Change the way your students think about learning...

“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” — BB King

By reframing it as a tool that is going to shape a brighter future.

6. A beautiful simile for any schoolroom

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be ignited.” – Plutarch

Help ignite that fire in your students.

Design tip: When designing an inspirational poster, consider your demographic when not only selecting your quotes but also designing your posters. While bright, primary colors and bold text tend to well for a primary school, a more muted, mature color scheme may be more appropriate for a senior high-school class.

Quotes about embracing failure

When you’re young, it’s easy to feel like failure is the end of the world. Often, when we’re afraid to fail, we become hesitant to push ourselves beyond our comfort zones. These quotes about failure can help teach your students that failure isn't something to be feared but rather, something they can learn and grow from.

7. Remind your students not to focus on their limitations...

“Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” — John Wooden

This inspiring quote will encourage them to instead focus on their unique strengths.

8. Let your students know that it’s okay to make mistakes...

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new." — Albert Einstein

So long as they pick themselves back up and try again!

9. Because failure isn’t final...

“Learning is never done without errors and defeat.” – Vladimir Lenin

In fact, it can be a powerful tool for growth and progress.

10. Challenge your students to face their fears head on

“Never let the fear of striking out stop you from playing the game.” — Babe Ruth

Remind your students that they miss 100% of the shots they don’t take!

Quotes about procrastination

As adults, we know that procrastination can be one of the biggest killers of productivity. Teachers can help their students overcome this unhelpful habit early so that they can live up to their potential in the classroom and beyond!

11. Banish procrastination in your classroom...

“Procrastination makes easy things hard and hard things harder.” — Mason Cooley

By reminding your students that they’re only doing themselves a disservice by leaving things to the last minute!

12. Truer words have never been spoken!

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” – Zig Ziglar

Whatever your students are passionate about, be the one who helps them get started.

13. A great reminder for anyone embarking upon a new challenge

“The expert in anything was once a beginner — Helen Hayes.”

Because everyone has to start somewhere!

14. A classic quote from the house of mouse

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney

Perfect for those students who like to disrupt the classroom with chit chat!

Design tip: Consider setting up a template for your poster, so you can use the same design and simply swap out the text if you are creating multiple versions for your classroom.

Quotes about hard work

The people who achieve incredible success in the world aren’t always the most naturally brilliant but rather, are the hardest workers. Encourage your students to roll up their sleeves and put in the effort with these empowering quotes about hard work.

15. For those students who like to take the easy way out!

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” — Beverly Stills

A great reminder that if your students want spectacular results, they need to put in spectacular effort!

16. For when your students are feeling unmotivated

“I think it’s possible to ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary.” — Elon Musk

This uplifting quote reminds them that greatness isn’t a right, it’s a choice.

17. This tongue-in-cheek quote about success...

“I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” – Thomas Jefferson

Serves as a great reminder that it’s not about being lucky, it’s about being prepared.

18. Light up your classroom...

“Genius is 10% inspiration, 90% perspiration.” — Thomas Edison

With this enlightening quote from the father of electricity.

19. An important lesson for any future leader...

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Ryun

Help your students develop those positive habits now that will set them up for the future.

20. Food for thought!

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated.” — R Collier

Remind yourself that those little daily actions add up into big change.

Design tip: Consider keeping the design of your poster simple, to ensure the focus remains on the quote. Bright colored text against a contrasting background can help the text make a more powerful impact.

2>Quotes about the future

One of the best ways to encourage a positive attitude towards learning is to remind your students of the big picture. These inspiring quotes will show them a big, wide world awaits them outside the four walls of the classroom and that what they’re learning today is going to set them up for that future.

21. An empowering quote from the former president

“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” —Abraham Lincoln

Because the power lies in their hands!

22. Embolden your students to dream big

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

An inspiring quote from a strong woman.

23. An impactful quote for any classroom

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” — A.A Milne

Because we all need a reminder sometimes!

24. Another insightful quote from great inventor

“Learn from yesterday. Live for today. Hope for tomorrow.” – Albert Einstein

So simple, yet so powerful.

Design tip: Using a border is an excellent way to add extra visual interest to your poster without overcrowding it with too many competing design elements.

Quotes about reading

Reading not only improves students’ literacy and writing skills but also broadens their perspective and ignites their imagination. Teach your students that it's cool to be a bookworm with these positive quotes about reading.

25. Perfect for your classroom reading nook!

"The more that you read, the more things you will know, the more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss

A playful rhyme that will encourage even the most resistant students to read!

26. Get your students onto the same page.

“Today a reader. Tomorrow a leader.” – Anonymous

You’re sure to inspire a new generation of readers.

Design tip: To ensure your classroom posters look polished and professional, ensure that both the line and letter spacing between your text is consistent.

Quotes to encourage positivity

School should be a positive environment where all students feel safe, happy and heard. These uplifting quotes will help set the right tone in your classroom.

27. Because it’s cool to care!

“In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” — Jennifer Dukes Lee

Sprinkle those positive vibes around in your classroom.

28. Instill a sense of camaraderie into your classroom...

“None of us is as smart as all of us.” — Ken Blanchard

By encouraging your students to put their heads together.

29. Encourage your students to ask questions

“He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.” — Chinese Proverb

Make your classroom a safe and open space for discussion.

30. Welcome individuality into your classroom

“You have to be odd to be no.1.” — Dr. Seuss

Because many of the world’s most successful people were a little unusual.

Next Steps

Create your own inspiration classroom poster with ease using Canva. We've done all the design heavy lifting, so all you have to do is add your favorite quote and personalize it to suit your taste. Learn more about how teachers can use Canva Pro features for free with Canva for Education.

Want a color scheme that perfectly matches your favorite images? With Canva’s color palette generator, you can create color combinations in seconds. Simply upload a photo, and we’ll use the hues in the photo to create your palette.

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