The Power of Quotes for Inspiration

At the end of last term we settled on a very simple idea to fill space above our fiction shelves and the ceiling so it didn’t look so bare.

Christine, one of our part-time staff had been processing the new Bear Grylls’ book  A Survival Guide for Life:  how to achieve your goals, thrive in adversity and grow in character. She made an off-hand comment about how striking some of Bear’s sayings are that are scattered throughout the book.  The ensuing conversation led to a brainstorming session which resulted in us deciding to create a series of posters with great sayings to inspire our boys.

Quotes posters

I sent an email out to staff asking them to send me some of their favourite quotes they either use in the classroom or would like to use with students and was pleased with the response.  I also trawled through ones I’d saved and others on some good websites and came up with 50.

After typing up the quotes we printed them on buff coloured A3 paper, laminated them and then stuck them up on the wall.

I was a happy librarian.  But what has made me an ecstatic librarian was observing a Year 7 teacher using these with her class during the last five minutes of her library visits both last week and this week.  She asked the boys to have a look and choose one that they liked or that they wanted to share with the rest of the class. She then gave them the opportunity to read out their chosen quote and invited them to share what it meant to them or what deeper meaning it might have.

Here are three they chose today:

No. 26

No. 13

No. 35

My own personal favourite is:

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right” – Henry Ford

I want to make it a round 60 so I need another few yet.  Have you got a special inspirational quote?  I’d love you to share it here so I can find my final 10.

20 thoughts on “The Power of Quotes for Inspiration

  1. I made a poster for my library wall with this quote “I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.”
    Maya Angelou. It reminds me daily that even small acts are important.


  2. Our philosophy extension programme printed out quotes a couple of years ago and spread them round the school, including this in the library foyer: “I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself” Aldous Huxley.


    1. Thanks Georgi 🙂 …. I’m considering having little notes made up with the names of the teachers who contributed on them and sticking them onto their quotes so the boys can see who suggested them


  3. What a lovely idea Senga, and it’s good to hear how the teachers are buying into it. I have a collection of quotes on reading, but it includes these three which are more general (think the first is my favourite):
    “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
    “I am convinced that knowledge is power – to overcome the past, to change our own situations, to fight new obstacles, to make better decisions.” Dr. Ben Carson
    “One’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” Oliver Wendell Holmes
    I am feeling inspired myself…


    1. I love it when you set something in motion and it takes a life on of it’s own. I hadn’t considered teacher’s using them in this way so it was all the more special when I witnessed it happening.


  4. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and as usual Senga, you have turned me into a thief of ideas. I have used many quotes about reading and libraries before, but I love how your uplifting quotes are already inspiring both teachers and students. Thanks for sharing,


    1. Thanks for your kind words Geraldine, and you are not a thief as I share my ideas freely as well as having my own “go to” people who inspire me in turn. The best ideas should be replicated everywhere which is why we need to share them!


  5. You seldom get what you go after unless you know in advance what you want – Maurice Witzer
    Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted – David Bly
    Determine to be something in the world and you will be something – Joel Hause


    1. Winston Churchill had a good number of pithy, relevant quotable statements in his wonderful speeches. This is one I don’t have on the wall yet Paula so thanks for sharing


  6. Nice one Senga. One quote I came across recently that I really like is …”Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'” – Martin Luther King, Jr.


  7. Senga, I’m from London and I find your quotes inspiring. I have made this one: “Read a book and book yourself into another world.”


  8. Yay! I needed something quick for a class to do this week. Now they will be searching for and sharing their favorite quotes, printing and illustrating them, and posting them around the school. Lesson plan – Done!


  9. Senga, This may brighten up some teacher’s day. “I touch the future. I teach.” –
    Christa McAuliffe Christa was the teacher who died in the space shuttle the Challenger in 1986. I used her quote on the cover of my CV for years.


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