Quotes from Teacher Man

Frank McCourt ·  258 pages

Rating: (27.2K votes)


“Just let them sit in the goddam sun. But the world won't let them because there's nothing more dangerous than letting old farts sit in the sun. They might be thinking. Same thing with kids. Keep 'em busy or they might start thinking.”
― Frank McCourt, quote from Teacher Man


“You have to give yourself credit, not too much because that would be bragging.”
― Frank McCourt, quote from Teacher Man


“There are so many ways of saying Hi. Hiss it, trill it, bark it, sing it, bellow it, laugh it, cough it. A simple stroll in the hallway calls for paragraphs, sentences in your head, decisions galore.”
― Frank McCourt, quote from Teacher Man


“On the Left side of the blackboard I print a capital F on the right side another capital F. I draw an arrow from left to right, from FEAR to FREEDOM.
I don’t think anyone achieves complete freedom, but what I am trying to do with you is drive fear into a corner”
― Frank McCourt, quote from Teacher Man


“When I act tough they listen politely till the spasm passes. They know.”
― Frank McCourt, quote from Teacher Man



“There's nothing sillier in the world than a teacher telling you don't do it after you already did it.”
― Frank McCourt, quote from Teacher Man


“Nói chung, giáo dục là gì? Chúng ta làm gì trong trường này? Các em có thể nói rằng các em muốn tốt nghiệp để lên được đại học, chuẩn bị sự nghiệp. Nhưng, các em thân mến ạ, còn hơn thế nữa cơ. Thầy đã phải tự hỏi mình làm cái quái quỷ gi trong lớp này. Thầy đã lập cho mình một phương trình. Bên trái tấm bảng thầy viết một chữ S, bên phải một chữ T. Thầy vạch một mũi tên từ trái sang phải, từ SỢ HÃI sang TỰ DO.
Thầy không nghĩ rằng có ai đạt được tự do hoàn toàn, nhưng điều thầy cùng làm với các em là xua nỗi sợ hãi vào một góc.”
― Frank McCourt, quote from Teacher Man


“That's what he disliked about certain artists and writers. They interfered and pointed to everything as if you couldn't see it or read for yourself.”
― Frank McCourt, quote from Teacher Man


“A job is death without dignity.”
― Frank McCourt, quote from Teacher Man


“To enter a room is to move from one environment to another and that, for the teenager, can be traumatic. There be dragons, daily horrors from acne to zit.”
― Frank McCourt, quote from Teacher Man



“You can't teach in a vacuum. A good teacher relates the material to real life. You understand that, don't you?”
― Frank McCourt, quote from Teacher Man


“Nobody ever told them they had a right to an opinion.”
― Frank McCourt, quote from Teacher Man


“They said her duck recipe and the Chinese music were so dramatic everything else sounded anemic.”
― Frank McCourt, quote from Teacher Man


“I am teaching. Storytelling is teaching.”
― Frank McCourt, quote from Teacher Man


“First day of your teaching you are to stand at your classroom door and let your students know how happy you are to see them. Stand, I say. Any playwright will tell you that when the actor sits down the play sits down. The best move of all is to establish yourself as a presence and to do it outside in the hallway. Outside, I say. That’s your territory and when you’re out there you’ll be seen as a strong teacher, fearless, ready to face the swarm. That’s what a class is, a swarm. And you’re a warrior teacher. It’s something people don’t think about. Your territory is like your aura, it goes with you everywhere, in the hallways, on the stairs and, assuredly, in the classroom.”
― Frank McCourt, quote from Teacher Man



“I was sick of my miserable childhood, too, the way it followed me across the Atlantic and kept nagging at me to be made public.”
― Frank McCourt, quote from Teacher Man


“I’m learning. The mick from the lanes of Limerick letting the envy hang out. I’m dealing with first-and second-generation immigrants, like myself, but I’ve also got the middle classes and the upper middle classes and I’m sneering. I don’t want to sneer but old habits die hard. It’s the resentment. Not even anger. Just resentment. I shake my head over the things that concern them, that middle-class stuff, it’s too hot, it’s too cold and this is not the toothpaste I like. Here am I after three decades in America still happy to be able to turn on the electric light or reach for a towel after the shower.”
― Frank McCourt, quote from Teacher Man


“Fear? That’s it, Francis. The little slum boy still fears loss of job. Fears he’ll be cast into the outer darkness and deafened by the weeping, the wailing, the gnashing. Brave, imaginative teacher encourages teenagers to sing recipes but wonders when the axe will fall, when Japanese visitors will shake their heads and report him to Washington. Japanese visitors will instantly detect in my classroom signs of America’s degeneracy and wonder how they could have lost the war. And”
― Frank McCourt, quote from Teacher Man


“This is the situation in the public schools of America: The farther you travel from the classroom the greater your financial and professional rewards.”
― Frank McCourt, quote from Teacher Man


“Everything in my head was secondhand, too: Catholicism; Ireland's sad history, a litany of suffering and martyrdom drummed into me by priests, schoolmasters and parents who knew no better.”
― Frank McCourt, quote from Teacher Man



“There's something hostile about the way they enter and leave the room that tells you what they think of you. It could be your imagination and you try to figure out what will bring them over to your side. You try lessons that worked with other classes but even that doesn't help and it's because of that chemistry. They know when they have you on the run. They have instincts that detect your frustrations.”
― Frank McCourt, quote from Teacher Man


“Also, said Freddie, I work nights to make a living and pay my way through college. You know what that’s like, Mr. McCourt. I don’t see what that has to do with your writing. Also, it’s not easy when you’re black in this society. Oh, Christ, Freddie. It’s not easy being anything in this society. All right. You want an A? You’ll get it. I don’t want to be accused of bigotry. No, I don’t want it just because you’re pissed off or because I’m black. I want it because I deserve it. I”
― Frank McCourt, quote from Teacher Man


“Ooh, aren’t we getting solemn, and where did I leave my soapbox? Look”
― Frank McCourt, quote from Teacher Man


“Les diría que escribieran una nota de despedida de ciento cincuenta palabras, como si fueran a suicidarse. Sería un buen modo de animarles a pensar en la vida en sí, pues Samuel Johnson dijo que pensar que nos van a ahorcar a la mañana siguiente centra la mente de una manera maravillosa.”
― Frank McCourt, quote from Teacher Man


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About the author

Frank McCourt
Born place: in Brooklyn, New York, The United States
Born date August 19, 1930
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