Maybe it’s the momentum of the new year. Maybe it’s because it’s Martin Luther King Day. Maybe it’s because I spent a good chunk of my Saturday going through file boxes of my comprehensive exam papers and dissertation research related to education equality and social justice. Maybe it’s because I’ve been in a lot of conversations lately with colleagues about what drives the work we all do. Whatever the reason, I’m feeling a strong pull to get back to my roots–the roots that connect me to my purpose. You know what I mean, because you have roots too. The roots of our passion for education. The roots of our commitment to all kids. The roots that feed us and nourish us, even when we feel like the work is too hard or too big or too idealistic. The roots of the changemakers that came before us and the changemakers we’re hoping to inspire as teachers, leaders and parents every day.

Here are 14 quotes to get us there. Quotes to remind us where we came from and where we are going, why we’re here and how we got there, why we get up every morning ready to hit the ground running and why we go to bed every night exhausted, why we have to keep learning and why we have to stay committed.

MLK1a

Malala3

Freire 4

Dewey2

Socrates 9

Rumi 8

Montessori 6

Mead 7

Mandela5

Rogers 13

Gandhi 10

Ford 11

Douglass 12

King 14

What about you? What helps you stay inspired and committed? Tell us in the comments or by tweeting us @Getting_Smart or sharing your quotes on our Facebook page. For more on leading change, see:

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