The Wisdom of the Walls

One of the things I enjoy about subbing is exploring the classroom walls.  Every teacher puts a unique touch on their classroom.  Some cover their walls in motivational posters, others in student work, and still others in subject-specific information such as math equations or proof-reading rules.  The classroom I’m in right now doesn’t have any windows, so someone painted a picture of a window for the teacher to hang next to his desk.  The teacher I subbed for yesterday decorated her room with posters from movies like True Grit and The Great Gatsby.  On slower sub days, I sometimes entertain myself by trying to guess each teacher’s personality and quirks based simply on the room decor.

Edgar Allan Poe, as created by Mark Summers for Barnes & Noble (click for more if his work!)

Edgar Allan Poe, as created by Mark Summers for Barnes & Noble (click the image for more if his work!)

I already have a collection of things I keep for the day when I can decorate my own classroom again.  I have two different One Page Books Shakespeare posters, the prizes pieces from my first teaching job.  At a school rummage sale, I also scored four of those giant, framed, stylized images of authors that had once graced the walls of a Barnes & Noble store.  Someday I hope they will grace the walls of my classroom.

However, I think one of my favorite things about classrooms is the quotes teachers choose to put on their walls.  Sometimes they have brightly colored, laminated posters with inspirational sayings, while other times they’ve either printed or hand-written the nuggets of wisdom themselves.  I wonder why they choose that particular quote and what makes them want to put it on their walls.  I wonder if any students have taken a moment to think about the words or if they’ve made even the slightest difference.

I’ve started a collection of quotes I want to put up on my walls someday.  Some are favorite book quotes, some I’ve stolen from posters I’ve seen in other classrooms, and some are just things I find myself saying a lot to my students.  I figure if I say it enough, it’s probably worth putting on a wall.

I don’t have a classroom, but I do have a blog, so I’ll end this post with what I’ve collected so far, for your perusal.  Enjoy!

Book/Author quotes:

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture.  Just get people to stop reading them.”  -Ray Bradbury

“Words!  Mere words!  …what a subtle magic there was in them!  They seemed to be able to give a plastic form to formless things, and to have a music of their own as sweet as that of viol or of lire.  Mere words!  Was there anything so real as words?” -Oscar Wilde

“Lord, what fools these mortals be!” -Shakespeare

Seen on posters:

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”

“Productivity is 5% motivation and 95% not being distracted by the internet.”

Stuff I say a lot:

“‘Do your best’ is a challenge, not a cop-out.”

“Age alone does not bring maturity.  Experience does.”

That’s what I’ve got so far.  What inspirational sayings would you put on your walls?  Who knows, maybe I’ll collect enough for another post.  🙂


5 thoughts on “The Wisdom of the Walls

  1. I like this. I have an easel where I put up a different quote each week. The kids seem to look forward to them, and it is a real privilege if they give me a quote and I use it! They love that!


  2. LOL! I love the quote, “Productivity is 5% motivation and 95% not being distracted by the internet.” I need a framed copy to place right above my computer monitor.


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