By Ernie J. Zelinski
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(A Comprehensive Collection of Quotes about Teachers and Teaching That Can Be Used as Retirement Quotes in Teacher Retirement Speeches and Teacher Retirement Letters) 

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 Teacher Retirement Quotes

and Retirement Sayings

One of the most satisfying times for a teacher is when after years of teaching he or she announces their retirement through a retirement letter and then makes a retirement speech sprinkled with retirement jokes at a retirement party announcing that they are about to be retiring happy even though they are not yet eligible for Social Security.

This collection of retirement quotes for teachers can be used in a tribute to a teacher.

If you are a teacher, you may want to use some of these teacher retirement quotes in your retirement letter or retirement speech to show that you have confidence that you are doing everything possible to retire with class.

NOTE: See also retirement wishes and retirement sentiments on The Retirement Cafe:

Someone once said, "There are two good reasons to be a teacher — July and August." In fact, there are three good reasons to be a teacher. The third reason is retirement. 
— Unknown wise person

Teacher's Retirement Motto: I Used to Teach. Now I Have No Class.
— Unknown wise retiree

George Burns said, "The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible." The same applies to a teacher retirement speech.
— Dave Erhard

A good teacher is like a candle — it consumes itself to light the way for others. 
— Unknown wise person

Housework is a breeze. Cooking is a pleasant diversion. Putting up a retaining wall is a lark. But teaching is like climbing a mountain.
— Fawn M. Brodie

One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.
— Carl Jung

I wish to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to you for your cooperation, understanding, and support during my employment here. I would also like to express my appreciation to my fellow teachers and other colleagues for their support and friendship throughout my stay here.
— Excerpt from a retirement letter for teachers 

Old teachers never die; they just grade away.
 Unknown wise person

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 teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. 
— Henry Brooks Adams

The task of the excellent teacher is to stimulate "apparently ordinary" people to unusual effort.  The tough problem is not in identifying winners:  it is in making winners out of ordinary people. 
— K. Patricia Cross

Retirement is the beginning of life — not the end.
— from
How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free 

The World's Best Retirement Book

for Teachers and Non-Teachers

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  • Over 425,000 Copies Sold 
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What office is there which involves more responsibility, which requires more qualifications, and which ought, therefore, to be more honourable, than that of teaching?
— Harriet Martineau

Who dares to teach must never cease to learn. 
— John Cotton Dana

The secret of teaching is to appear to have known all your life what you just learned this morning. 
— Unknown wise person

The object of teaching a child is to enable him to get along without his teacher. 
— Elbert Hubbard

The best teachers teach from the heart, not from the book. 
— Author Unknown

Often, when I am reading a good book, I stop and thank my teacher.  That is, I used to, until she got an unlisted number. 
— Unknown wise person

A teacher's purpose is not to create students in his own image, but to develop students who can create their own image. 
— Unknown wise person


What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches. 
— Karl Menninger

If you don't want to be a teacher, you'd better get off this planet.
— from Messiah's Handbook by Richard Bach

Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition.
— Jacques Barzun

Education is what survives when what has been learnt has been forgotten.
— B. F. Skinner

A school should not be a preparation for life. A school should be life.
— Elbert Hubbard

The teacher should never lose his temper in the presence of the class. If a man, he may take refuge in profane soliloquies; if a woman, she may follow the example of one sweet-faced and apparently tranquil girl — go out in the yard and gnaw a post.
— William Lyon Phelps

Don't try to fix the students, fix ourselves first. The good teacher makes the poor student good and the good student superior. When our students fail, we, as teachers too, have failed.
— Marva Collins

The chief wonder of education is that it does not ruin everybody concerned in it, teachers and taught.
— Henry Adams


An education obtained with money is worse than no education at all.
— Socrates

You may be a redneck if . . . . you have spent more on your pickup truck than on your education.
— Jeff Foxworthy

There is no real teacher who in practise does not believe in the existence of the soul, or in a magic that acts on it through speech.
— Allan Bloom

The teacher must derive not only the capacity, but the desire, to observe natural phenomena. In our system, she must become a passive, much more than an active, influence, and her passivity shall be composed of anxious scientific curiosity and of absolute respect for the phenomenon which she wishes to observe. The teacher must understand and feel her position of observer: the activity must lie in the phenomenon.
— Maria Montessori (1870-1952), Italian educator. The Montessori Method, ch. 5 (1912). On the importance of observation for the teacher,

The true teacher defends his pupils against his own personal influence. He inspires self-distrust. He guides their eyes from himself to the spirit that quickens him. He will have no disciple.
— A. Bronson Alcott (1799-1888), U.S. educator, social reformer. Orphic Sayings, "The Teacher" (1840).

I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework. 
— Lily Tomlin as "Edith Ann"

Your best purchases in retirement [whether teacher or non-teacher] will turn out to be the ones that you never made.
— from the book The Joy of Not Working

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  • 315,000 Copies Sold Worldwide 
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Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theater. 
— Gail Godwin

In teaching you cannot see the fruit of a day's work. 
It is invisible and remains so, maybe for twenty years. 
— Jacques Barzun

To know how to suggest is the great art of teaching. To attain it we must be able to guess what will interest; we must learn to read the childish soul as we might a piece of music. Then, by simply changing the key, we keep up the attraction and vary the song.
— Henri-Frédéric Amiel

The world of knowledge takes a crazy turn
When teachers themselves are taught to learn.
— Bertolt Brecht

Just because somebody drops in on you from another dimension, don't assume they're wiser than you about anything at all, or that they can do anything better than you can do yourself. Discarnate or mortal, what matters about people is what they know.
— from Messiah's Handbook: Reminders for the Advanced Soul

I'm not a teacher: only a fellow-traveller of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead- ahead of myself as well as you.
— George Bernard Shaw

A schoolmaster should have an atmosphere of awe, and walk wonderingly, as if he was amazed at being himself.
— Walter Bagehot

A schoolteacher or professor cannot educate individuals, he educates only species.
— G. C. Lichtenberg

We schoolmasters must temper discretion with deceit.
— Evelyn Waugh

NOTE: Also see  Funny Retirement Quotes on The Retirement Quotes Cafe


Retiring is easy for teachers. Staying happily retired, however — now that is the harder part of a successful retirement!

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Can You Answer These

Retirement Questions?

  • Once you retire, what are you going to do about your identity that is so dependent on work? 
  • What should you say to your working partner — even your parents — if you are retiring much earlier than them? 
  • What will you do with your new-found leisure time if you have never learned how to enjoy leisure activities? 
  • How will you relate to your relatives and friends who are still working while you are living the life of an aristocrat, sometimes known as "The Life of Riley"? 

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Your true nature is to retire happy, wild, and free. Never lose touch with it. You will, however, if you are not careful. The way to ensure that you are retiring happy is to have a copy of The World's Best Retirement Book by Ernie Zelinski available at your fingertips.'s #1 Retirement Book  . . . 

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by Ernie J. Zelinski — All Rights Reserved
Author of The World's Best Retirement Book


 I will do today
what others won't,
so I will have
tomorrow what
others don't.
— John Addison
No organization — government or
otherwise — can take great care of you in retirement.     Organizations aren't capable of this — only  you are!
— from Life's Secret Handbook

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How to Retire Happy on


How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free on

Surveys of seniors overwhelmingly      suggest that higher incomes don't drive satisfaction in   retirement. That said, there is a minimum
of income required to enjoy retirement.
— Dan Richards
I'm regularly asked     what my [retirement]  plan is, and I    deliberately don't have much of a plan. I've had lots of plans in my life and it might be nice to have a period      that is less planned.
— Malcolm Hamilton, Expert on Pensions 
& Retirement Planning

 The World's Second Best Retirement Book at

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