Ten Quotations about Teaching: A Tribute to Forrest McDonald

If you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it.” ~Margaret Fuller

My father once told me that it is the teacher’s responsibility to make sure the student learns, so long as the student puts forth the proper effort. That made a big impression on me, and I’ve shaped all my own teaching around that idea. It’s up to me to be creative in my teaching; make it work is the only rule.

Forrest McDonald in his office.   My father passed away this week, and he was one of the greatest teachers—as well as one of the best men—I have ever known. In tribute to him, today’s post offers 10 quotations about teaching.

  1. “I touch the future. I teach.” ~Christa McAuliffe
  2. “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” ~William Butler Yeats
  3. “Education is the transmission of civilization.” ~Will Durant
  4. “Teaching is the one profession that makes all other professions.” ~Anonymous
  5. “Education is the guardian genius of democracy. It is the only dictator that free men recognize, and the only ruler that free men require.” ~Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar
  6. “The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.” ~C.S. Lewis
  7. “An ordinary teacher teaches how to accumulate information. A good teacher teaches how to assimilate information. A great teacher teaches how to stand up and turn every challenge into opportunities. An extraordinary teacher teaches how to be larger than life by following your own dreams, own goals and own instincts.” ~Amit Ray
  8. “The Master said, ‘A true teacher is one who, keeping the past alive, is also able to understand the present.’” ~Confucius
  9. “What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches.” ~Karl A. Menninger
  10. “The only way I can pay my debt to my teachers is to pass along the understanding I have obtained, so future scholars can learn from my efforts. They, in turn, are obliged to repay me by passing along that understanding, enriched by their own studies and thought, to generations yet to come.” ~Forrest McDonald

To me, this is the essentially what we hope for when we teach: To create a link from past generations to future generations of all the best our minds and experience have to offer. Bear that in mind the next time you are teaching—you have the potential to affect generations.

Rest in peace, Forrest McDonald. 1/7/27-1/19/16

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Please send me your questions for future issues, and tune in next Friday for Issue #44 of “Everything You Need to Know to Create Outstanding Online Courses.”

Marcy McDonald is an Online Course Producer. She helps Subject Matter Experts and Professors create online courses with better content, delivery, and production, for better teaching. She’s developed ~450 online courses for lifelong learners, worked in video and audio studios, and filmed in the field (literally).

Contact Marcy for help crafting your online course. 

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