Teacher Profile: Mrs. Miller

By: Zianney Arellano

OwlFeed Journalist

Mrs. Miller’s eighth grade yearbook made a prediction that would come to be true many years later – that she would pursue a career as an english teacher.

Mrs. Miller’s passion for english has been an evident component of her life since she was a young girl. When the time came to decide which career she would dedicate her life to, the answer was not difficult to recognize. “I’ve known for a long time. I just always really liked helping my friends with their homework… but not by letting them copy it! But by actually helping them,” Mrs. Miller laughed. “I liked english and I had always enjoyed reading.”

Mrs. Miller began teaching at Agua Fria four years ago, after teaching at Cesar Chavez Highschool for three years. Despite the fact that she considers Agua Fria to be her home, it vastly differs from the school and community she was brought up in as a young girl.  

“I grew up in Scottsdale Arizona. It is a pretty white, wealthy bubble,” Mrs. Miller said.

She is unafraid to acknowledge the advantages she grew up with. Even if her teachers where inadequate, she had the resources she needed that would allow her to succeed in school anyway. These advantages have led her to make a conscious decision to teach in communities that differ from the one she was raised in. Working in spaces that she did not grow up have allowed her to gain perspective into the lives of others.

Photo Credit: Zianney Arellano

“People there (I’m generalizing of course) are generally in their bubble and that’s all they know. They don’t really know a lot about other experiences and when you don’t know a lot about other experiences, then you don’t care because it is not around you.”

Teaching for the last seven years has only fueled the drive she has to provide her students with the best education possible. Even without the availability of outside resources, she believes that every student has the capability to succeed in whatever endeavor or path they pursue.

“Everybody deserves to have a quality education, regardless of where you grow up, and that is something that I am very passionate about. It is easier for people who grew up where I grew up to get a quality education because of their home experiences.  I wanted to make sure that I was working at a school that I could help people who maybe didn’t have all those resources.”

Educating is a full time job; and it seldom leaves any opportunity for teachers to share things other than the material they teach. Mrs. Miller shares that just because she rarely has the opportunity to acknowledge her students outside of an academic context, does not mean she does not recognize and appreciate their innate individuality.  

“I’m a cheeseball! I wish I could tell my students all the time, ‘You’re a great person, you’re an incredible person, you are loved, you are awesome, you are unique, you are great!’ Cause they are. They make me laugh, they are interesting, they have backgrounds, I know that and I value that.”

In all of the adventure and confusion of being a teacher, Mrs. Miller will always be certain of one thing at the end of the day.

“I love students, I love teaching.”