About Jake Miller

Mr. Jake Miller teaches 7th grade American history teacher near Harrisburg, PA. He is the 2016 National History Day Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year and a 2017 NEA Teacher of Excellence. His articles have appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, and several other periodicals, but Miller has called TER home since 2012.

Yes, Failure IS An Option

We'd be hard pressed to find an innovation that has changed our modern living as much as the light bulb. When Thomas Edison and his employees experimented with methods to bring about an incandescent light, they finally arrived - almost by accident - on using a cardboard filament. After its success, he famously quipped "I [...]

Why Engaging Students with Politics is Worthwhile

One of my friends approached me last week while at church. Now an administrator, he was a teacher who taught at Dover High School at the height of the 'intelligent design' debate, where a school board wanted it taught instead of the theory of evolution. He taught biology, nonetheless. In initiating the conversation, he said, “I [...]

Making Learning Extra-Ordinary: A Sarcastic Stab at EduJargon

During my first week as president of our local association, I shared a copy of a "Faculty Meeting Bingo" manipulative with all our members as a joke regarding educators' over-reliance on edu-jargon. Eventually, this information made it to our superintendent, who wasn't too pleased with the actions of his new opposite. Yet I utilized the wait time to [...]

Teenage Girl Drama: Breaking The Everlasting Gobstopper

The film Mean Girls is a lesson for anybody teaching, living with, or raising teenage girls. It's no doubt that the line between being "popular" and being "Plastic," as the 4 main characters are satirized, is a fine one. And, without some adult intervention, it can become an everlasting gobstopper that chokes out the functioning of [...]

The Myth of Teacher Planning Time

The contract between my local education association and school district regarding Teacher Planning Time specifically states that: "professional employees shall be scheduled for a minimum of 200 minutes per week of planning time during the student day. Planning time shall be scheduled in blocks of not less than thirty (30) minutes. In the elementary schools, [...]