Last Writes

Richard Lederer and Metaphors Be With You

The dream begins with a teacher
who believes in you,
who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau,
sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth.
William Arthur Ward

Life is a school, and we are here to learn. The challenges and problems we encounter are simply part of the curriculum. They appear and they fade away, but the lessons we learn last a lifetime.
The foregoing paragraph is a metaphor, a word that in Greek originally meant “carry beyond.” A metaphor is a figure of speech that compares two objects or ideas that are different from each other but turn out to be alike in a significant way. Here are my favorite “figures of teach” that illuminate the role of education in our lives:

Genius without education is like silver in the mine.
Benjamin Franklin

No bubble is so iridescent or floats longer than one blown by a beloved teacher.
Sir William Osler

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Education is light; lack of it is darkness.
Russian proverb

We cannot hold a torch to light another’s path without brightening our own.
Ben Sweetland

A teacher is the candle that lights the way for others in consuming itself.
Giovanni Ruffini

Teachers can’t burn out if they aren’t on fire.
Anita Voelker

Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail. What you gain at one end you lose at the other. It’s like feeding a dog on its own tail. It won’t fatten the dog
Mark Twain

He who opens a school door, closes a prison.
Victor Hugo

He who has imagination with no education has wings but no feet.
French proverb

Give a man a fish, and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he will eat for the rest of his life.
Chinese proverb

If you plan for a year, plant a seed. If you plan for ten years, plant a tree. If you plan for a hundred years, teach the people.
Kuan Chung

None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody bent down and helped us pick up our boots.
Thurgood Marshall

The mind is not a vessel that needs filling but wood that needs igniting. Plutarch

Minds are like parachutes. They function only when open. James Dewar

Ideas are like umbrellas. If they are left lying about, they are peculiarly liable to a change of ownership. Tom Kettle

The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows. Sydney J. Harris

The primary purpose of a liberal education is to make one’s mind a pleasant place in which to spend one’s time.
Sydney J. Harris

Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire.
William Butler Yeats

In teaching it is the method and not the content that is the message — the drawing out, not the pumping in.
Ashley Montagu

The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.
Kahlil Gibran

A mind that is stretched by a new experience never goes back to its old dimensions.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

Spoonfeeding teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.
E. M. Forster

* teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron.
Horace Mann

All kids are gifted, some just open their packages earlier than others.
Michael Carr

A truly great teacher is perpetually rocking the boat in the cause of furthering the waves of understanding that flood over the walls of defense and denial built up around young people’s thirsty minds.
Daniel Mark Childs

Native ability without education is like a tree without fruit.

‘Tis education forms the common mind;
Just as the twig is bent the tree’s inclined.
Alexander Pope

“Teaching to the test” is a practice likened to memorizing an eye chart. With enough drill and rote work, even a person with 20/150 vision can rattle off E-F-P-T-O-Z. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the person can see.
Meredith Scrivener

A teacher is a compass that activates the magnets of curiosity, knowledge, and wisdom in the pupils.
Terri Guillemets

Education is the horse. Experience is the jockey.
Clark Gable