As parents, we're always looking for the right thing to say. And while we may not have all the answers when it comes to the constantly changing learning landscape during the pandemic, we luckily do have famous figures and inspiring activists to help us find the right words to inspire, motivate, and even make our kids laugh as they gear up to head back to school.
From the first day of school all the way to graduation day, here are our favorite school quotes for every learning milestone to share with children.
Heading Back to School
When it's time to go back to school (already!), help motivate your favorite students with one of these inspirational quotes.
"Your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead."—Nora Ephron
"Fortune does favor the bold, and I promise that you will never know what you're capable of unless you try."—Sheryl Sandberg
"Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today."—Malcolm X
"There may be people that have more talent than you, but there's no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do."—Derek Jeter
"The beginning is the most important part of the work."—Plato
"Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world."—Malala Yousafzai
For those times when someone's feeling discouraged, a good inspirational message can be all you need to give them a boost.
Inspirational and Motivational School Quotes
"Do. Or do not. There is no try."—Yoda
"There may be days when you'll say to yourself, 'I can't. I literally can't even.' But you can! You can even!" —Katie Couric
"Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education."—Martin Luther King Jr.
"It is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate."—George Burns
"Dreams are lovely. But they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral, pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It's hard work that makes things happen. It's hard work that creates change."—Shonda Rhimes
"I'm a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it."—Thomas Jefferson
"Be the hardest working person you know. Because if you're not, someone else will be."—Ian Brennan
"I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."—Michael Jordan
"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."—Albert Einstein
"A man, as a general rule, owes very little to what he is born with—a man is what he makes himself."—Alexander Graham Bell
Preparing for the First Day of School
Gear up for a great first day of school with these quotes to inspire a wonderful year of learning.
First Day of School Quotes
"Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can." —Arthur Ashe
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."—Sun Tzu
"The key to life is to develop an internal moral, emotional G.P.S. that can tell you which way to go."—Oprah
"You cannot dream of becoming something you do not know about. You have to learn to dream big. Education exposes you to what the world has to offer, to the possibilities open to you."—Sonia Sotomayor
"The only impossible journey is the one you never begin."—Anthony Robbins
"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose."—Dr. Seuss
Keeping Things Fun Year Round
Everything about school doesn't have to be solemn (as every school-related comedy movie can attest). Try some of these funny quotes when your student is taking things a little too seriously.
Funny Quotes About School
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."—Thomas Edison
"You can never be overdressed or overeducated."—Oscar Wilde
"Every year, many, many stupid people graduate from college. And if they can do it, so can you."—John Green
"If you think your teachers are tough, wait 'til you get a boss." — Bill Gates
"We all learn by experience but some of us have to go to summer school." — Peter De Vries
"The most important thing we learn at school is that the most important things can't be learned at school." —Haruki Murakami
Ending the School Year
When school is (finally) out for the summer, these are the perfect quotes to say goodbye to another year in class.
"Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself."—John Dewey
"If you can't outplay them, outwork them."—Ben Hogan
"Take pride in how far you've come. Have faith in how far you can go. But don't forget to enjoy the journey."—Michael Josephson
"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you."—B.B King
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do."—Mark Twain
"If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it way from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest."—Ben Franklin
"You're off to great places. Today is your day!"—Dr. Seuss
"It always seems impossible until it's done."—Nelson Mandela
Graduating with Style
For the biggest learning milestone of them all—graduation—you need a good quote to go along with your graduation gift.
"Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world."—Nelson Mandela
"It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves." —William Shakespeare
"We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better."—J. K. Rowling
"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world."—Harriet Tubman
"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are."—e. e. Cummings
"We don't stop going to school when we graduate."—Carol Burnett
"Education is the difference between wishing you could help other people, and being able to help them." —Russell M. Nelson
"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out."—Robert Collier
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."—Eleanor Roosevelt