Bel Kaufman Quotes

Bella "Bel" Kaufman (May 10, 1911 – July 25, 2014) was an American teacher and author, well known for writing the bestselling 1964 novel Up the Down Staircase.

Read more about this author on Wikipedia

Bel Kaufman


To the outside world, of course, this job is a cinch: 9 to 3, five days a week, two months' summer vacation with pay, all legal holidays, prestige and respect. My mother, for example, has the pleasant notion that my day consists of nodding graciously to the rustle of starched curtsies and a chorus of respectful voices bidding me good morning.

Bel Kaufman


Mythology is studied in the school system because most of us come from it.

Bel Kaufman


I am writing this during my lunch period, because I need to reach towards the outside world of sanity, because I am overwhelmed by the sheer weight of the clerical work still to be done, and because at this hour of the morning normal ladies are still sleeping.

Bel Kaufman


Best marks go to cheaters and memorizers. Marks depend on memorizing and not on real knowledge. When you cram into your head for a test you may get a high mark but forget it the next day. That's not an education. I suggest just Good and Bad at the end of the term on report cards. Or maybe nothing. Frank Allen

Bel Kaufman


And that's it; that's why I want to teach; that's the one and only compensation: to make a permanent difference in the life of a child.

Bel Kaufman


Laughter keeps you healthy. You can survive by seeing the humor in everything. Thumb your nose at sadness; turn the tables on tragedy. You can???t laugh and be angry, you can???t laugh and feel sad, you can???t laugh and feel envious.

Bel Kaufman


I feel no different than I felt at 99, 98 or 97. Just because you live a long time, you get all this attention. Just because you survived? Of course, I survived a lot.

Bel Kaufman


The preciousness of every moment is emphasized with every tick of the clock. Isn't it a magnificent day today?

Bel Kaufman


I so enjoy being old because for the first time I don't have to do anything-work, teach, study. I feel very good about myself-and at my age I can say no to anything now if I don't want to do it. What a liberating word.

Bel Kaufman


Education can't make us all leaders, but it can teach us which leader to follow.

Bel Kaufman


I had used my sense of humor; I had called it proportion, perspective. But perspective is distance.

Bel Kaufman


I want to point the way to something that should forever lure them, when the TV set is broken and the movie is over and the school bell has rung for the last time.

Bel Kaufman


When giving comes directly from the heart, it can never disappoint or embarrass.

Bel Kaufman


... good teachers, like Tolstoy's happy families, are alike everywhere.

Bel Kaufman


?Education is not a product: mark, diploma, job, money in that order; it is a process, a never ending one?

Bel Kaufman