Throughout my career I would post a daily quote. It would be on the board for students to see when they arrived. As a principal, I would include one with the daily written notices.
It was my oldest brother who inspired me to do this. When I first started teaching he gave me photocopies of his quotes. Over the years I added to the collection. By the time I retired I had well over 300 quotations.
One June, the student giving the valedictory speech framed her entire speech around various quotes I had posted. I was moved.
Another time, a mother entered my classroom for a parent-teacher interview. She first looked up at my board and said, “That one is already on the fridge at home.” Each day her daughter posted the quote for her family. I was moved.
Prior to retiring, a young teacher told me that she too was going to include daily quotes. I encouraged her to do so. During my final days I asked her if she would like to have my collection. She readily agreed. I was moved.
The next day I approached her with my quotes. They were in the same duo-tang folder that my brother gave me 32 years earlier. The folder was well worn.
I handed it to her, “Here you go.”
“My collection of quotes.”
“You don’t have them saved as a computer file?”
“Ah … no. This is it.”
“Thanks, but I think I’ll pass.” I wasn’t moved.
Here are some of my favourites:
Hurt people, hurt people
And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.
A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor. – F.D.R.
He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. – F. Nietzsche
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