Quote This: Haim Ginott on a Teacher’s Influence


I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated, and a child humanized or dehumanized.

– Haim Ginott

(Arrived in my in-box via Facebook from Arkansas-based Wild About Learning Academy)

…and so… as we hardly ever get to choose our teachers’ children in the conventional system… and as we had virtually no control or influence over a teacher who either through choice or just ignorance is this “tool of torture” rather than an “an instrument of inspiration” …and so… we choose to not roll the dice and take that risk.

Photo credit: Inspiration, by photosteve101


2 responses to “Quote This: Haim Ginott on a Teacher’s Influence

  1. I saw this quote on my child’s daycare door yesterday and am pulling her out. I do not understand why a teacher feels the need to display their “power” especially in the education of young children. It’s unfortunate that we have created a society where teachers feel so powerless that they must languish their ability to do harm over children’s heads. This statement creates fear in children, and parents quite frankly, not respect.

  2. Sheila,

    It is not about power! In the contrary! It is about reminding ourselves of e responsibility we have to your children everyday. Please read it in a different light. You have minsinterpreted it.

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