The Tuesday 12: 12 Inspirational Quotes from the World of Sports

In this week’s edition of The Tuesday 12, we are looking at the world of sports.  Many of our students follow professional sports and look to athletes as role models.  The quotes chosen below do not deal with athletics specifically, but their message can be translated and applied to various parts of learning, education, and life.  These quotations can and will inspire your students to make the effort, reach their goals, and never give up!

12 sports quotes

1. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

Wayne Gretzky (hockey)

2. “The man who has no imagination has no wings.”

Muhammad Ali (boxing)

3. “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Michael Jordan (basketball)

4. “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”

Babe Ruth (baseball)

5. “The more difficult the victory, the greater the happiness in winning.”

Pele (soccer)

6. “The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.”

Tommy Lasorda (baseball)

7. “If you fail to prepare, you’re prepared to fail.”

Mark Spitz (swimming)

8. “If you can believe it, the mind can achieve it”

Ronnie Lott (football)

9. “A person always doing his or her best becomes a natural leader, just by example.”

Joe DiMaggio (baseball)

10. “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.”

Arthur Ashe (tennis)

11. “As simple as it sounds, we must try to be the best person we can; by making the best choices, by making the most of the talents we’ve been given.”

Mary Lou Retton (gymnastics)

12. “It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.”

Vince Lombardi (football)

Don’t forget to check in next week for another edition of The Tuesday 12!

Today is WE DAY! Support “Free the Children” and “Me to We”!

If you asked your students the following question, how do you think they would answer? 

“How old do you think that you have to be in order to make a change in the world?”

What would your students answer?  Would anyone say “12 years old”?

In the case of Craig Kielburger, 12 years old would be the correct answer. 

In 1995, a 12 year old boy who was at home reading The Toronto Star, when he came across the story of a 12 year old boy who was murdered in Pakistan. This boy, Iqbal Masih, was murdered because he had been forced to work in a carpet factory since he was four years old. He had begun to fight against child labour and was murdered for speaking out against child labour. The Toronto boy was so angered by the article that he went to school and tried to convince his friends to join him in doing something about it. This boy was Craig Kielburger and he, along with some friends, founded the charity organization Free the Children, to empower youth to make a difference.

Here are two to help you learn more about Craig and Free the Children:

1) a video about Craig Kielburger entitled “It Takes a Child.”

2) a video about “Free the Children”

Free the Children” focuses on many areas of social justice and activism, including child labour, building schools, and sustainable development. “Me to We” is their charitable organization that aims to make consumers more socially conscious and aware.

Today in Toronto it is WE DAY! What is WE DAY? It is a day for our youth to come together and become empowered to make a difference in our world, to fight against injustice, and to believe in themselves as agents of change both locally and globally.  As a teacher who has attended We Day in the past with her students, I can attest to the power and electricity that fills the air.  It is truly an inspiring day…our youth learn that they have the power to make a difference and we learn that our future is in good hands. WE DAY is being live streamed and many schools are actually broadcasting the event to their students.  Make sure you watch it to be a witness to such an inspirational day and such motivation in our youth.

Who will be appearing at WE DAY (TORONTO 2012)?  The amazing list includes the Kielburger brothers (Craig and Marc), Jennifer Hudson, Nelly Furtado, Al Gore, Hedley, Spencer West, Shawn Desman, Martin Sheen, and Justin Trudeau.

Please visit and support both Free the Children and Me to We.  Both websites are filled with teacher and student resources to help you introduce and encourage social justice and social activism in your classrooms.

Why is this so important? “Free The Children is at work in remote and marginalized communities around the world to benefit more than 138,000 people. In this effort, [their] projects are helping to improve the health and quality of life of communities, and allowing more children, especially girls, to attend school” (from

Still not convinced?  Take a few minutes to view some of the footage from past WE DAYs and some of the shameless idealists who have attended before.  I dare you to be uninspired…it’s impossible!




The Tuesday 12: 12 Inspirational YouTube Videos to Share with Your Class

So, what is “The Tuesday 12”? We will be gathering 12 resources, ideas, lessons, and activities for teachers on a variety of topics.  In this inaugural edition of The Tuesday 12, we decided to go with 12 inspirational YouTube videos for you and your students.

1. Severn Cullis-Suzuki at the 1992 UN Earth Summit

At only 12 years old, Severn addresses the UN regarding environmental concerns and the fear she has for her future and the future of other children.  It is very powerful and my students have always commented that she is so confident and intelligent, and her message still resonates today.

2. Dr. Randy Pausch “The Last Lecture”

University professor Randy Pausch gave a lecture on the topic, “What wisdom would you try to impart on the world if you knew it was your last chance?”  But for him it was especially poignant as he had been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.  His speech (an abridge version of it taped for Oprah) is both inspirational and emotional.

3. Dalton Sherman addressing 20 000 educators in Dallas

This is a bit of a longer video and even though Dalton is addressing teachers, not only is his message inspiring for educators, but it helps our students understand that we believe in them and want them to reach their full potential.

4. Iqbal Masih

This particular video is inspiring for two different reasons. First, it tells the story of Iqbal Masih, a child laborer in Pakistan, who was sold into slavery at a young age.  He gained international attention when he spoke out against child labor and was murdered at the age of 12.  Not only is Iqbal inspiring, but the students at Broad Meadows Middle school in Quincy, Mass (where he visited) raised money to build a school in Pakistan in his honor.  Not only did the students raise enough money for one school, but they were able to build 8 schools in Pakistan.

5. Craig Kielburger

When Craig Kielburger read about the death of Iqbal Masih, the young Canadian boy wanted to do something about it.  He turned to his friends and together founded a group that would eventually evolve into “Free the Children.”  This clip shows his travels to Asia to see child labor for himself.

6. Free the Children

Founded by Craig Kielburger, Free the Children “believes in a world where all young people are free to achieve their fullest potential as agents of change. We are a charity and educational partner that empowers youth to remove barriers that prevent them from being active local and global citizens” (  Young people throughout the world have the power to change the world.

7. Redefine Possible…Spencer West

8. Spencer West and Mount Kilimanjaro

Videos 7 and 8 go together.  In the first, we are introduced to Spencer West, who lost his legs at 5 years old due to a genetic condition, but that doesn’t stop him from leading a full and active life.  On June 18, 2012, he reached his goal of hiking to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for clean drinking water through Free the Children.

9. Marianne Williamson “Our Greatest Fear”

Although this quote has been attributed to Nelson Mandela, it was actually written by Marianne Williamson.  I chose the clip from “Akeelah and the Bee” because it is an inspiring movie that can be shared with your students as well.

10. Running for My Existence (Roger Wright)

In these 5 minutes, we literally see a man transform himself from someone who could only run 10 yards to being ready to run the Boston Marathon in just ten months.  He did it to raise money and awareness for his niece Julia, who has Cystic Fibrosis, and to change his own life for the better.

11. Lost Generation

When I first viewed this video, it really made me sad…but then I got to the second half and I realized what an amazing concept it was!  This video would also make an excellent resource for a media literacy lesson.

12. Derek Redmond

Sometimes no matter how much we try to prepare ourselves for a challenge, we will not be able to overcome the obstacles in our path…unless we receive help from those that care about us.

If you have any other suggestions, please list them in the comments below!

Don’t forget to check back next Tuesday for the next installment of “The Tuesday 12”!

Resource Review: “The Leader in Me” by Stephen R. Covey (2008)

“Leadership is communicating people’s worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves” (The Leader in Me: How Schools and Parents Around the World are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time (2008), Stephen R. Covey, p. 41).

Why is leadership in schools so important?  Before you answer, I’m referring to students as leaders in a school, not just the administrators and teachers.  Although it is necessary for administrators and teachers to take on a positive leadership role within the school, it is essential that students develop their own leadership skills and use these skills to make a positive impact on the school climate.

Stephen R. Covey is famous for “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” which have been incorporated into developing the leadership skills of students across the world.  Why are schools looking to develop leadership skills in their students?  According to Covey (2008, p. 4) explains that student leadership:

  • improved student achievement
  • significantly enhanced self-confidence and esteem in students
  • dramatic decreases in discipline problems
  • impressive increases in teachers’ and administrators’ job satisfaction and commitment
  • greatly improved school cultures
  • parents who are delighted and engaged in the process
  • business and community leaders who want to lend support

“The Leader in Me” tells the story of several schools that have incorporated student leadership into their daily curriculum and strived to make every student a leader.  One such school is A.B. Combs Elementary School in Raleigh, North Carolina that underwent a dramatic transformation after incorporating “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” along with some other leading practices.  The book takes you through the issues A.B. Combs Elementary began with and how they underwent a carefully planned metamorphosis into a culture of leadership.  Their story is both inspirational and attainable, as Covey takes the reader through the entire process and helps one understand the rational behind each step and how it can be adapted and applied to one’s own school community.

How can you begin to think about student leadership for your school?  As Covey explains, you must think of the various stakeholders (parents, business community, teachers, and students) want from a school and begin from there.  Right now, we have five committees for our grade 7 and 8 students, in order to help them develop leadership skills while assisting the school community, but I would like to work on our strategies and evolve our model, so I will be further researching this topic and its application.  Check out for more ideas on how to get started.

How do you develop the leadership skills of your students?  What opportunities are they given to showcase their skills and use them for the betterment of the school community?

Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link; however, all opinions expressed are the author’s own.