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.

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, [...]

Traveling Teacher: National Museum of African American History and Culture

I was recently able to attend a conference earlier this February in the nation's capital, and the hottest ticket in town is the National Museum of African American History and Culture, or NMAAHC for short. In the span between its opening (September of 2016) and Valentine's Day, 2017, 1 million visitors have walked through the [...]

Protesters Were Wrong to Block Betsy DeVos From School

One of the continuing traditions of my classroom is to display 100's of inspirational and thought provoking quotes. And one of the quotes I have on that border is by famed Chicago journalist Sydney J. Harris, who says, “The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.” While I've had more than my [...]