Heading back to school can be equal parts exciting and stressful for students, teachers, and parents alike. Sometimes we all need just a little inspiration to help us put our best foot forward. And the right quote (or two!) can certainly help.
Sharing quotes with students can be a powerful tool since they can send the right motivating message at the right time. Regardless of whether it’s gleeful excitement or trepid intimidation, there are back-to-school quotes for every feeling students may be experiencing. Hang particularly poignant or funny back-to-school quotes on classroom walls. You can also print them on strips like in fortune cookies to distribute to students during class, or if you’re a parent, slip them into your child’s lunchbox. Browse our list of all-time favorite back-to-school quotes for plenty of options to use this year!
First Day of School Quotes
The beginning is the most important part of the work. —Plato
The first day of school can be a scary one, but your strength and perseverance are greater than your fears. —Plato
The first day of school is that singular moment where parents watch their babies blossom in the blink of an eye.
You’ve chosen your first day of school outfit, your new pencil box, and your notebooks. Now choose to lead with love and kindness.
I’ve always loved the first day of school better than the last day of school. Firsts are best because they are beginnings. —Jenny Han
The first day of school: where parents’ tears outnumber the tears of kids.
Let today be the start of something new.
Today is your opportunity to build the tomorrow you want. —Ken Poirot
The most important day of a person’s education is the first day of school, not Graduation Day. —Harry Wong
This season is much shorter than you feel it is now. Soak in these final firsts and look toward the future firsts with hope. —Unknown
You’re on the cusp of adulthood, and this first day is one of the final steps in that direction.
Just by walking through the school doors, you brighten up so many lives. Have a great first day back.
It’s one of my favorite seasons of the year: Back to School. —Dana Perino
A new school year means new beginnings, new adventures, new friendships, and new challenges. The slate is clean and anything can happen. —Denise Witmer
This is a new year. A new beginning. And things will change. —Taylor Swift
Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect. —Alan Cohen
Back-to-School Quotes for Teachers
Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.
If you have to put someone on a pedestal, put teachers. They are society’s heroes. —Guy Kawasaki
The duties of a teacher are neither few nor small, but they elevate the mind and give energy to the character. —Dorothea Dix
Learn as much as you can while you are young, since life becomes too busy later. —Dana Stewart Scott
School is a building that has four walls with tomorrow inside. —Lon Watters
School bells are ringing loud and clear; vacation’s over, school is here. —Winifred C. Marshal
You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives. —Clay P. Bedford
Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve. —Roger Lewin
The future of the world is in my classroom today. —Ivan Welton Fitzwater
Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of becoming. —Goethe
To be good is noble, but to teach others how to be good is nobler—and less trouble. —Mark Twain
There’s no tired like teacher tired at the beginning of a school year!
I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework. —Lily Tomlin
Teaching is a work of heart.
Our job is to teach the students we have, not the ones we would like to have. Not the ones we used to have. Those we have right now. All of them. —Dr. Kevin Maxwell
Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. —Benjamin Franklin
Messages From and For Parents
If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers. —Edgar W. Howe
Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time.
My dear son, wish you a great day at school. Nothing can be more adventurous than your first day at school. Have a great time!
My dear girl, the true goal in life is to achieve a good education. Use this opportunity wisely. Wish you a great first day at school.
Attend your first day of school with a lot of positive energy, and I am sure you will have an exciting time. Have a great day at school!
Your young limbs are slowly getting ready to carry you to your first day at school, my princess. I am sure you will be thrilled there.
School is the beginning of a journey that will only bless you with good things in life. Take this overwhelming journey seriously, and give it your best.
Learning little things slowly and steadily in school will shape your mind and give you many new things to think about.
Be curious about what you learn at school. Don’t be overconfident, ask a lot of questions, and above everything else, have a great time.
From holding my hand to stepping into the classroom—oh how time flies.
When you get back from school, Mommy and Daddy will be waiting for you. Go on, make new friends, meet some nice teachers, and learn something new on your first day. All the best!
Your school will teach you to make important decisions in life and also influence your career choices. Remember, however you learn in school, it’s important to enjoy the process.
Back-to-School Quotes for Students
What we learn with pleasure we never forget. —Alfred Mercier
Be curious, not cool. —Ken Burns
All the world is a laboratory to the inquiring mind. —Martin H. Fischer
Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind. —Virginia Woolf
Dreams come a size too big so that we can grow into them. —Josie Bisset
Respect your parents. They passed school without Google.
You have brains in your head; you have feet in your shoes; you can steer yourself any direction you choose. —Dr. Seuss
The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice. —Brian Herbert
As a kid, I loved fresh school supplies, new outfits, the change of seasons, and the chance to crack open a new textbook. —Dana Perino
Education will give you the courage to be someone who has the ability to change the world.
The seed of learning gets planted today. Now all you have to do is feel yourself grow.
Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today. —Malcolm X
The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you. —B.B. King
Try to learn something about everything and everything about something. —Thomas Huxley
He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying. —Friedrich Nietzsche
What I remember most about high school are the memories I created with my friends. —J.J. Watt
Diversity and Inclusion in School
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. —Albert Einstein
It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength. —Maya Angelou
Education is a right, not a privilege; it is an opportunity, not an entitlement. —Arne Duncan
Don’t try so hard to fit in, and certainly don’t try so hard to be different … just try hard to be you. —Zendaya
Inclusion means everyone gets a seat at the table, not just the ones who bring the table.
Teaching is a way to embody who you are, but it’s also a way to empower who you are, and that is the beauty of diversity. —Maya Angelou
Our differences are what make us unique, but our acceptance of those differences is what makes us human.
Inclusion is not about changing people; it’s about changing attitudes.
Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance. —Verna Myers
Every student can learn, just not on the same day or in the same way. —George Evans
Inclusion is not a strategy to help people fit into the systems and structures which exist in our societies. It is about transforming those systems and structures to make it better for everyone. —Diane Richler
Special education is not a place. It’s a service. —Loretta Claiborne
Inclusive education is not a privilege. It is a fundamental human right. —Ban Ki-moon
We need to give every individual the opportunity to reach their full potential, regardless of their background or circumstance. —Cory Booker
Inclusion is not a buzzword, it’s a responsibility.
Education is the most powerful weapon to use to change the world. —Nelson Mandela
Funny Back-to-School Quotes
Education is when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get if you don’t. —Lydia Child
Cheers to the first day of a new school year and the beginning of the Thanksgiving break countdown.
Just give me my class list! I need to label stuff.
The first day of school: the day when the countdown to the last day of the school begins.
It’s not that I hate school. I just hate waking up early in the morning.
We all learn by experience, but some of us have to go to summer school. —Peter De Vries
My school was so tough the school newspaper had an obituary column. —Norm Crosby
School is a lot like toilet paper. You only miss it when it’s gone.
First month of school: Look nice and dress up. Rest of the school year: Rock the homeless grandma look.
As long as teachers give tests, there will always be prayer in schools.
There is only one thing bigger than a kindergartner’s curiosity, and that’s their backpack.
Labor Day is a glorious holiday because your child will be going back to school the next day. It would have been called Independence Day, but that name was already taken. —Bill Dodds
Work hard, nap hard. —Demi Lovato
The human brain is special. It starts working as soon as you get up and it doesn’t stop until you get to school. —Milton Berle
You can lead a boy to college, but you cannot make him think. —Elbert Hubbard
The Goal of Education
The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson. —Tom Bodett
The purpose of education, finally, is to create in a person the ability to look at the world for himself, to make his own decisions. —James Baldwin
The highest result of education is tolerance. —Helen Keller
Education doesn’t just make us smarter. It makes us whole. —Jill Biden
Intelligence plus character—that is the true goal of education. —Martin Luther King Jr.
Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. —John Dewey
One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world. —Malala Yousafzai
With every book, you go back to school; you become a student; you become an investigative reporter. You spend a little time learning what it’s like to live in someone else’s shoes. —John Irving
The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn … and change. —Carl Rogers
Apply yourself. Get all the education you can, but then, by God, do something. Don’t just stand there, make it happen. —Lee Iacocca
The most useful piece of learning for the uses of life is to unlearn what is untrue. —Antisthenes
What are your favorite back-to-school quotes? We’d love to hear them in our We Are Teachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.
Plus, check out these All-Time Favorite Classroom Quotes.