About Jake Miller

Mr. Jake Miller teaches middle school history 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, WeAreTeachers, and several other periodicals, but Miller has called TER home since 2012.

A Teacher’s Power of Positivity

I've spent enough times surrounded by negativity. I've gone the other way when the "negative teacher" walks down the hallway. I've watched people publicly belittle my profession and union over and again. I've led that union and had to open far too many negative emails of plea / help / disdain. I've hoped for that [...]

How My School Attained Blue Ribbon Status

On Thursday, September 28th, Good Hope Middle School (the school where I teach) was one of 342 schools (35 of the middle or junior high institutions) designated a Blue Ribbon School. Since then, a few of my fellow teachers asked me "How did we earn such a distinction?", "What does your school do differently?", or, [...]

Book Review: The Smartest Kids in the World

The inside cover of Amanda Ripley's book asks the question, "What's it like to be a child in the world's new education superpowers?" - namely South Korea, Poland, and - yes, of course - Finland. To accomplish this, she follows the lives of three separate American teens who serve as foreign exchange students there. In [...]

What Opening 100 Sixth Graders’ Lockers Taught Me About Kids

She was running late for the departing Friday bus. I saw her as she laid there on the floor, sobbing, as other staff members patiently held 100 buses to send the nearly 800 students home for the weekend. "I want my mommmmmmy!" She wailed, with the tears waterfalling down her face. Here lay the sister of [...]