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 Foundation 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.

10 Thoughts During a Failed Lesson

Thought 1: "I like this lesson" It might not be my best, but I'm satisfied with it. It's educational. It's collaborative. There's some entertainment value. It certainly is important to their lives and what we've been previously talking about. It'll be successful. Thought 2: "What the h*#%! is going on here?!" It doesn't seem like [...]

I Used To Teach on $30,000: Supporting West Virginia and Oklahoma Strikes

Like most college graduates in 2005, I was just glad to have a job in education. Better yet that I was hired at my Alma mater school, nestled in the coal region of Pennsylvania. Here I knew the teachers, the culture, and the community. But I still remember a conversation my uncle, who just retired [...]

Social Studies in a Political Era

“Build the wall! Build the wall! Build the wall!” Several of my 8th-grade students chanted President Trump’s campaign slogan several times when I explained to the students our next unit would be on immigration. One student, perhaps the brightest I’ve ever taught, approached me after class that day and asked me, bluntly, “Mr. Miller, what [...]

How My Teachers Saved My Life

I’m a proud graduate of Panther Valley High School, which a website labeled the “6th worst district in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” Nestled in the brown belt, coal region of our state, it has suffered economic and social turmoil for decades now. That said, I don’t care one bit about what that website says, the [...]

How Gregory Salcido Sullied the Teaching Profession

"We have a bunch of dumb sh**s over there..." California high school teacher Gregory Salcido said, in the midst of his classroom discussion with his teenage students. "They're not academic people, not intellectual people. They're the freaking lowest of our low..." The video, recorded by student Victor Q. (who wishes to join the United States [...]