A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 03, 2013
“2 teach is 2 touch a life 4 ever”

A popular saying about teaching (based on 2+2=4) is:

2 teach is
2 touch a life
----
4 ever


The saying has been printed on many gift items, such as posters, T-shirts and mugs. “2 teach is 2 touch lives 4 ever” has been cited in print since at least 1992.


16 November 1992, Del Rio (TX) News-Herald, “Extension Extras: 4H leaders deserve recognition” by Dee Money, pg. 3, col. 2:
Recently I saw a saying which read “2 teach is 2 touch lives 4 ever”, and when I saw that I not only thought of our public school teachers, but the innumerable volunteer 4-H leaders in our country came to mind!

Google Groups: bit.listserv.edtech
Teresa T. Villanueva
1/20/97
(...)
“2 teach is
2 touch lives
---
4 ever”

Google Groups: rec.crafts.textiles.needlework
ThreadBndr
4/26/97
(...)
Dropped off the Lizzie Kate “2 teach is 2 touch a life 4ever” (finished as a pillow) that I did as a shop sample - will get it back just before christmas - for my mom, who is a retired teacher

30 May 1999, Lexington (KY) Herald Leader, “Grave Sights,” pg. K1:
On some of the markers are short epitaphs, like: “If it’s not worth doing right, it’s not worth doing” or “2 teach is 2 touch a life 4 ever.”

Straight Dope Message Board
Lnix
10-13-2000, 09:58 AM
You just teach the crap out of that Novell!
Remember 2 teach is 2 touch a life 4 ever
or if you teach Middle School
2 teach is 2 need a valium prescription

8 September 2005, Home News Tribune (East Brunswick, NJ), “New teacher begins 2nd career” by Suzanna C. Russell, pg. B1:
The tie, with a design featuring a stack of books topped by an apple, carried a simple message: “2 teach is 2 touch a life 4 ever, all children can learn.”

Google News Archive
6 August 2006, The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, VA), pg. G5, col. 9 classified ad:
2 teach is 2 touch a life 4 ever.
Thanks, Teachers, for all you do.
NEWSPAPERS IN EDUCATION

The Cranky Librarian
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
2 Teach Is 2 Touch Lives 4 Ever
I used to have a refrigerator magnet that said, “2 Teach Is 2 Touch Lives 4 Ever”, written out like a math problem. The magnet either got lost or broken years ago, and I have grown up enough since then to realize the corniness of that item and have not replaced it.

Corny or not, that sentiment is the driving force of why those of us who work in education our entire careers do it.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityEducation/Schools • Saturday, August 03, 2013 • Permalink