15 Movie Quotes for Teachers to Inspire You This School Year

“They’re here!”

School’s back in session and your desks are filled with a new set of faces. Whether you’re a newbie or a veteran, these movie quotes for teachers will help you to inspire greatness and make it through the year.

“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.” —The Godfather, Part III

Teaching is tough work. Some days are really tough. But some days are amazing and rewarding enough to make the hard times worth it. Look for those special moments with students, families and co-workers to keep you motivated.


“Wax on, wax off.” —The Karate Kid

wax on wax off

Monotony can creep in a few months or years into teaching (like when you’ve graded the same worksheet for the 6th year in a row or it’s time to enter grades into your district’s computer system). Get through the tedium by turning it into a meditation, finding ways to shake up routine, or simply muttering this quote to distract you from your boredom.


“Nobody’s perfect.” —Some Like It Hot


nobody's perfect

We’ve heard this a million times, but often don’t take it to heart. Expect from yourself what you expect from your students—their best effort, not perfection.


“Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.” —Star Wars

help me obi-wan

Everyone needs a sounding board, an insightful confidant or a comedian to add levity on occasion. Find your Jedi to help keep you sane, or at least show you how to work the laminating machine.


“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” —The Help

you is kind you is smart you is important

Yes, you are all these things. Remind yourself of it during the year (“I am doing important work”) and live up to it (be kind and work smart). And as you instill reading, math and science facts into your students, teach them that they are all these things, too.


“After all, tomorrow is another day!” —Gone With the Wind

tomorrow is another day

Maybe your lesson plan got off track or your students are behaving like they’re in Planet of Apes. Whatever it is, you get a fresh start at the next bell or the next day. Use it.


“Just keep swimming.” —Finding Nemo

just keep swimming

Power through. Get on with it. Move ahead. Don’t let the rough moments hold you down. Instead, persevere. Do your thing. Make it happen.


“What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.” —Cool Hand Luke

failure to communicate

It can happen with your students, their parents, your coworkers or the checkout person at the grocery store. Sometimes we don’t always understand what another person is saying, doing or going through. All we can do is try again—ask for clarification, look more closely, say it a different way. Don’t let miscommunication be a roadblock.


“Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.” —It’s a Wonderful Life

This should really be “Every time a bell rings (or tones), a teacher gets their wings.” Because in a lot of different ways, teachers spend their days giving of themselves—their time, knowledge, more of their time, their heart, patience, etc., etc., etc. to hundreds of kids during the span of their career.


 “Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads.” —Back to the Future, Part 1

we don't need roads

While every teacher has to teach the common core, they can teach it in a way that’s anything but common. Think outside of the box and give a lesson plans a little magic when you can. It makes the day more interesting for everyone.


“I’m the king of the world!” —Titanic

Those amazing moments when your students connect with you and learn something new are magical and often the biggest reward of teaching. Don’t just wait for those moments to come to you. Work to make them happen!


“My precious.” -Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

my precious

Just like Gollum covets and strives to get the magic ring, make it your mission to see the light bulb go on for each of your students as you teach a new skill. That is your magic ring, your “precious.”


 “Houston, we have a problem.” —Apollo 13

houston we have a problem

If something isn’t working, either in your classroom, among your team or in your school, address the problem by changing your approach to a lesson, bringing it up with your cohort or setting up a meeting with your principal.


“They may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom.” —Braveheart

they make take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom

You give A LOT as an educator. Keep doing it. But be sure to save enough of yourself and your time to stay happy and sane, cause you’re a better teacher when you’re not tapped dry.


 “May the Force be with you.” —Star Wars

may the force

It’s a new year filled with new faces and new opportunities. Use the power and energy within your classroom and your school to make it awesome.

What are your favorite movie quotes for teachers? Let’s hear them below!