Thursday, January 26, 2006

Quotes: Another Tool for Teachers

As teachers, we often look for the details and background information we think will most benefit our students: statistics, word origins, definitions, cross-references, cultural contexts, etc.

And we're adept at finding stories and anecdotes to hook or engage.

All of this is good and necessary. But let's not forget the power of a pithy phrase or penetrating quote.

Take these for example (talk about summing up the idea of these subjects in just a few words!):

Exhortation: "Do not use a hatchet to remove a fly from your friend's forehead." (Chinese proverb)
Priorities: "Our greatest danger in life is in permitting the urgent things to crowd out the important." (Charles E. Hummel)
Forgiveness: "Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a permanent attitude. (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Affliction: "Storms make oaks take deeper root." (George Herbert)

Prayer: "To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing." (Martin Luther)

Scriptural Authority: "If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself." (Saint Augustine)

Scripture: "It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me; it is the parts that I do understand." (Mark Twain)

Learning: "Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body." (Richard Steele)

Wisdom: "The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of our own ignorance." (C.H. Spurgeon)

Pride: "A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you're looking down, you can't see something that's above you." (C.S. Lewis)

Quotes, when used well, can be powerful tools in the teacher's/leader's tool box. Here are some place on-line where you can find quotes pretty easily by subject: (go to sermon illlustrations, arranged alphabetically by subject) (searchable at ) (especially ) (’s quote-of-the-day page)

Yes, keep doing all those other wonderful things you do as teachers, but don't overlook the power of a simple quote.

'Til next time,

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