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.



“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”

-William Arthur Ward


“The truth of it is – the first rudiments of education are given very indiscreetly by most parents.”

-Sir Richard Steele


“The difficult we do immediately; the impossible takes a little longer.”

-US Army Slogan


“Teachers are – more than any other class – guardians of civilization.”

-Bertrand Russell


“Good teaching is ¼ preparation and ¾’s theater.”

-Gail Godwin


“Man is the only one that knows nothing and can learn nothing without being taught. He can neither speak nor talk nor eat, and, in short, he can do nothing at the prompting of nature but weep.”

-Pliny the Elder


“Fifty years ago, teachers said their top discipline problems were talking, chewing gum, making noise, and running in the halls. The current list, by contrast, sounds like a cross between a rap sheet and the seven deadly sins.”

-Anna Quindlen


“A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron.”

-Horace Mann


“Good is not good where better is expected.”

-Thomas Fuller


“Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.”

-Rabbinical saying


“As plants are suffocated and drowned with too much moisture and lamps with too much oil, so is the active part of the understanding with too much study.”

-Michael Eyquem de Montaigne


“Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve.”

-Roger Lewin


“The greatest sign of success for a teacher… is to be able to say, ‘The children are now working as if I didn’t exist.’”

-Maria Montessori


“A teacher must believe in the value and interest of his subject as a doctor believes in his health.”

-Gilbert Highet


“The true teacher defends his pupils against his own personal influence.”

-A. Bronson Alcott


“The mind is more vulnerable than the stomach because it can be poisoned without feeling immediate pain.”

-Helen MacInnes


“On one occasion, Aristotle was asked how much educated men were superior to those uneducated: ‘As much,’ said he, ‘as the living are to the dead.’”

-Diogenes Laetius


“Learning without thought is useless. Thought without learning is dangerous.”



“More men fail through lack of purpose than lack of talent.”

-Billy Sunday


“Genius without education is like silver in the mine.”

-Benjamin Franklin


“Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or self-confidence.”

-Robert Frost


“Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

-Proverbs 22:6


“Education remains the key to both economic and political empowerment.”

-Barbara Jordan


“In old days, men studied for the sake of self-improvement; nowadays, men study in order to impress other people.”



“Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.”

-Sam Rayburn


“Everyone who remembers his own educational experience remembers teachers, not methods and techniques. The teacher is the kingpin of the educational situation. He makes or breaks programs.”

-Sidney Hook


“We expect teachers to handle teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, and the failings of the family. Then we expect them to educate our children.”

-John Sculley


Wit is the lightning of the mind, reason the sunshine, and reflection the moonlight.”

-Countess of Blessington


“You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.”

-Dr. Seuss


“I have never heard anyone whom I consider a good teacher claim that he or she is a good teacher… self-doubt seems very much a part of the job of teaching; one can never be sure how well it is going.”

-Joseph Epstein


“Good teachers are costly, but bad teachers cost more.”

-Bob Talbert


“Just as eating against one’s will is injurious to health, so study without a liking it spoils the memory, and it retains nothing it takes in.”

-Leonardo da Vinci


“We might cease thinking of school as a place, and learn to believe that it is basically relationships between children and adults, and between children and other children. The four walls and the principal’s office would cease to loom so hugely as the essential ingredients.”

-George Dennison


“Most of us end up with no more than five or six people who remember us. Teachers have thousands of people who remember them for the rest of their lives.”

-Andrew A. Rooney


“The great end of education is to discipline rather than to furnish the mind; to train it to use its own powers rather than to fill it with the accumulation of others’.”

-Tyron Edwards


“We learn by example and by direct experience because there are real limits to the adequacy of verbal instruction.”

-Mary Kay Ash


“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.”

-Derek Bok


“Teachers have three loves: love of learning, love of learners, and the love of bringing the first two loves together.”

-Scott Hayden


“In a complete rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something else.”

-Lee Iacoca


“If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.”

-John Dewey

Print Friendly, PDF & Email