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Encouraging thoughts leave lasting impressions

Words to live by
Marianna DeBolt 2014

Walk into any school and you will most likely see inspriational posters in the office, hallways or classrooms. We often encourage positive reinforcement through subliminal messages. Daily on social networking, forwards and shares of encouraging quotes are passed across the country. There are more people in our world that show compassion for one another than are opposite. A pretty rotten day can turn bright by hearing or reading a postive thought. These reminders serve as a guiding light towards the highest value of ourselves. Some of these quotes come from our friends, while others come from ancient times and famous people.

What is the difference between inspirational and motivational quotes? How does creating a positive attitude fall into these terms? Inspiration comes from a spark to creating ideas. A motivation is the actual wanting to participate in an activity. Together, the two are a driving force leading to a positive attitude towards life.

Have your ever had the student that seems to have a dark cloud hovering over their head every day? Or a coworker that complains about every change made before looking into it to see if the change might be benifical? Almost every family has that relative that blames everyone for every crisis in their own life without looking in the mirror first. Imagine how miserable it must be if you never see the good in anything that comes along your way? One, it's unhealthy and can affect not only your mind, but your physical health as well. Two, being negative can affect your social behavior. Negative attitudes can prevent you from learning to cope with life's challenges and how it affects the quality of life. Of course, there may be underlining reasons for these negative thoughts and learning to take the steps to change for the best will help one work through the issues one may be facing. Accept help and support others in their life journeys.

There are various kinds of inspirational passages and quotes to help students and well as your peers. One quote may mean something completely different to the age of the individual and fit to a variety of situations.

Educational Quotes:

"Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."

Malcolm S Forbes

" Every student can learn, just not on the same day or the same way."

George Evans

" Learning is a treasure that will follow it's owner everywhere."

Chinese Proverb

As educators, we all know how we would interpret the quotes above. Let's look at a set of different kinds and how each can relate to different situations.

Inspirational Quotes:

"We can do anything we want to do if we stick to it long enough."

Helen Keller

This quote can apply to a child learning to swim, a teen trying to pass his chemistry class or an adult making the attempt to break a bad habit. In Helen Keller's case, she had to overcome obstacles of her disability.

Motivational Quotes:

"Storms make oaks take roots."


Have you ever failed an exam and studied harder to pass the next exam? Perhaps your spouse left or passed away and now you have found that you need to refocus to create a single life? Any crisis that motivates you to focus and get your life back on track in a positive directions can apply to this quote.

Successful Quotes:

"The surest way not to fail is to determind to succeed."

Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Put your mind to the goal you have set and work towards it. Run those miles at your best speed in the next marathon, break through your plateau and loose those last pounds before swimsuit weather, or keep focused on those college classes towards the career of your dreams.

Happiness Quotes:

"Happiness resides not in the possessions and not in gold. The feeling of happiness dwells in the soul."


In other words, money can't buy happiness. Happiness if not bought, it's felt.

Imagination Quotes:

"Your imagination is your preview of life's comings."

Albert Einstein

One can make their life anything they can dream. Follow suit of Albert Einstein and be an inventor, a designer, take hold of your pen and imagine what your future can be. One may imagine a big beautiful house on large acreage of land and one day have it with determination. A little girl may wear her tutu and practice ballet every day to soon be a dancer with the New York Ballet or a JV football player's dream leads him to practice and become the best player for his future teams until he lands that position on an NFL team.

Follow your dreams quotes:

" Hold fast to dream, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly."

Langston Hughes

Everyone dreams, hold on to them and make them come true instead of wasting each aside. So often, one has a talent but feels they can't do anything with it or uneducated to know how to use it and they let it slip away in regret years later.

Leadership Quotes:

" Do not follow where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Harold R McAlindon

The life of a teenager can be difficult at times. It's natural to want to fit in and do as your peers do even if it is something you do not believe. Instead of being a follower, step aside, be yourself and stand up for what is right. Make your own positive path and others will follow you.

Being a role model is the best inspirational use of a quote. How do you encourage your students in the classroom? Do you incorporate them in lessons, use them while correcting areas of improvement, leave little messages in your kids lunch boxes, sharing online, and/or sending a thinking of you card to an unexpected friend?

Ideas of how to incorporate positive quotes in the classroom:

  • Post Quotes for classroom management
  • Handwriting practice (print, cursive, calligraphy, another language, etc...)
  • Comprehension lessons
  • Design and illustrate an inspirational poster or greeting card
  • Journal or sketchbook prompts
  • Class booklets of favorite quotes through tout the year
  • Create Tag clouds and see how many words repeat at: or

Keep sharing those quotes, hanging posters, and leaving messages to support others. One day a simple smile, a pat on the back, or quote might slip into your day and allow you to read, reflect and make a connection to your life in a positive way.

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