30 inspiring quotes for your students

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As a teacher, your role in a student’s life goes beyond providing a great education. You’re a leader, role model, coach, advisor and facilitator of positive growth. Since students spend so much of their time in your classroom, it’s up to you and your fellow educators to make school a positive and inspiring environment where children can do their best work and be their best selves.

Displaying posters featuring motivational quotes is an excellent way to instantly transform your classroom into a more uplifting space. Famous authors, leaders, innovators and other figures have left us with so many wonderful epigraphs about learning and success to choose from. Once you’ve picked your favorite inspirational quotes, you can use these to create your own inexpensive classroom posters.

Whether you want to encourage your class to dream big, work hard or read more, these quotes are sure to inspire your students:

Famous quotes about the importance of education

As a teacher, you’re an advocate for learning. Quotes that show why education is important can help reframe the way your students think about their schooling, so they show up to class each day feeling excited and eager to learn.

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

This inspirational quote can remind your students that education is a privilege.

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

Knowledge is power. Encourage your students to start harnessing that power today.

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

Sometimes you need to practice a little tough love. This message shows that you’re there to offer up the tools for education, but it’s up to your students to accept and use these tools.

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

Education is the gift that keeps on giving. Encourage your class members to hold that gift close to their hearts.

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

Homework can be hard, but you can change the way your students think about learning by reframing it as a tool that is going to shape a brighter future.

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

Here’s a beautiful simile for any schoolroom that can help ignite a passion for learning in your students.

Encouraging quotes about embracing failure

Even the most successful person makes mistakes. The process of learning from life’s failures isn’t easy, but it can be a good thing for your students to experience. As a teacher, you can’t stop students from struggling, but you can help them discover important lessons while providing the encouragement to carry on.

For kids who need a bit of courage to pick back up and start again, it can help to share some motivational quotes for student success. Use these quotes to teach your students that failure isn't something to be feared, but rather, something to embrace and grow from.

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

This inspiring quote can encourage students not to focus on their limitations but on their unique strengths.

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

Let your students know it’s okay to make mistakes, so long as they pick themselves back up and try again.

Failure isn’t final. In fact, it can be a powerful tool for growth and progress.

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

Challenge your students to face their fears head-on. After all, they’ll miss 100% of the shots they don’t take.

Helpful quotes about avoiding procrastination

Procrastination can feel like an easy excuse at first, but it can soon become a student’s greatest weakness. It gets in the way of productivity and can create more stress during busy times. A good teacher can help students overcome this unhelpful habit early so that they can live up to their potential in the classroom and beyond. Use these powerful motivational quotes to give your class an extra push to get started.

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

Young people who read this will realize they’re only doing themselves a disservice by leaving things to the last minute.

12. “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 teacher who helps them get started.

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

Everyone starts somewhere. This simple but great quote is a reminder for anyone embarking upon a new challenge.

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

This classic quote from the house of mouse can be a useful reminder for the distracted kids whispering in the back of your classroom.

Motivational quotes about hard work

People who achieve great things aren’t the most talented, but the hardest workers. Use a motivational quote or two to encourage students to roll up their sleeves and work hard during the school year with these empowering quotes about effort and perseverance.

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

If your students want spectacular results, they can’t take the easy way out.

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

For when your students are feeling unmotivated, this uplifting quote serves as a reminder that greatness isn’t a right; it’s a choice.

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

This tongue-in-cheek quote points to preparation as they key to success.

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

Great ideas can’t get off the ground without hard work and elbow grease.

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

Here’s an important lesson for any future leader. Help your students develop positive habits in the classroom now and they’ll be able to set out on an exciting journey later on.

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

This food for thought is a great reminder that little daily actions add up to big change.

Inspirational quotes about the future

Whether your students are in elementary school, middle school, high school or college, you can help them keep their dream for the future as a guiding star. These inspirational quotes for students show that a big, wide world awaits — and what they’re learning today is getting them ready for it.

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

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

Use this empowering quote to remind your class that they have the power to design the future in their hands.

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

This inspiring quote can embolden your students to dream big.

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

We all need this reminder sometimes — students and teachers alike.

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

The optimistic message in this insightful quote is so simple, yet so powerful.

Classroom quotes about reading

Reading in school not only improves literacy and writing skills, but it also broadens students’ perspectives and ignites their imaginations. Teach your students reading is rad with these positive quotes.

25. "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 encourages students to crack open new books is the perfect thing to display in a library or reading nook.

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

With reminders like this around the classroom, you’re sure to inspire a new generation of bookworms and trailblazers.

Positive quotes for students

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

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

Spread the good vibes around your classroom with this reminder that it’s cool to be kind.

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

Instill a sense of camaraderie into your classroom by encouraging your students to put their heads together.

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

Students should know your classroom is a safe and open space for questions and discussion.

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

individuality into your classroom.

Tips for displaying inspirational quotes in the classroom

Sharing inspirational words with your students can help to motivate and energize your students throughout the day. Plus, displaying and discussing words of encouragement can help create a positive culture in your classroom. Follow these design tips to make memorable quote posters that really stand out:

Use grade-appropriate quotes and design elements

When designing posters featuring inspirational quotes for students, it’s important to keep age and grade level in mind. Make sure the quotes and the messages they convey are a good fit for the vocabulary and reading comprehension level of your class.

Also, be sure to use graphic elements your students will connect with. For instance, bright primary colors and big, bold text could work well for elementary school students — but a high school class might be more receptive to a more muted, mature color scheme and clean lines.

Make the text the focal point

To make sure the inspirational words shine, keep the design of your poster simple. Ensuring contrast between the text and background color can help the quote make a more powerful impact.

Also, to make your classroom posters look as polished and professional as possible, make sure they’re readable from afar with a somewhat large font size and consistent line and letter spacing.

Keep the other graphic elements simple

Since your favorite inspirational quote will be the focal point, stick to just one photo or a simple border. This is an excellent way to add extra visual interest to your poster without overcrowding it with competing design elements.

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 it uses the hues in the photo to create a perfect palette.

Work from a design template

If you plan to create posters for your classroom on a regular basis, set up a template. This way, you can stick to the same layout and swap out the text for your next featured quote. Your posters will all have a consistent look, but each one can feature a fresh quote and seasonal colors or design elements that fit with a theme in your curriculum.

Make it a creative class project

Why not go beyond the “teacher’s quote of the day” idea and fill the room with inspirational quotes selected by your students? You can promote more creativity in your classroom by inviting your class to take part in the process of exploring famous quotes, digging deeper into their meanings and designing visual representations of their favorite message.

Start creating quote posters for free!

Feeling inspired to share some of these powerful quotes with your class? It’s easy to create your own motivational quote poster with Canva. We’ve done all the design heavy lifting — all you have to do is drop in your favorite quote and personalize your quote poster with whatever images, fonts and design elements you like.

Plus, teachers can use Canva Pro features for free with Canva for Education. Learn more and get started today!

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