By Ed Pierce
A great teacher inspires hope, ignites young imaginations, and instills a love of learning in students and Windham Primary School’s Rebecca Miller is such a teacher.
|Rebecca Miller is in her 17th year of working
at Windham Primary School where she serves
as a second-grade teacher and also as an
instructional leader. SUBMITTED PHOTO
“I also work closely with our facilities director, technology department, and custodial staff to allocate new technology and plans for the future needs of our school,” Miller said. “I sit on various teams in the school and district to help support the diverse needs of children in our school.”
As an instructional leader, Miller assists WPS teachers in finding the resources that they require, coaching and mentoring them, and informing them about professional development opportunities, both formal and informal. Her goal is provide clear direction and offer support that will improve teacher instruction at WPS because when teachers feel supported in their work, it has positive outcomes on student learning.
Now in her 17th year at WPS, she did her student teaching and internship at the school while still in college.
“It was a school that immediately made an impression on me,” Miller said. “Although I had experiences in other schools, WPS had my heart from the beginning. I've only ever worked professionally here.”
Born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire, she attended college at the University of Southern Maine and earned a Bachelor of Arts and Science in Sociology. She went on to obtain a master’s degree in teaching and learning and to earn her Assistant Principal certification. She’s been a second-grade teacher for most of her career but also spent some time as a third-grade teacher.
According to Miller, she says the best thing about her job is she gets to have the best of both worlds.
“I have administrator responsibilities in the school and district which allow me to help lead our school, but I am still face-to-face with a class of children every day making meaningful connections to those learners and their families and supporting their growth as learners,” Miller said. “Sometimes it feels like two full-time jobs, juggling both roles, but I wouldn't change it.”
Her unique position sometimes creates a misconception.
“I have a unique role, with not many schools having similar positions,” Miller said. “So, at times, it may not be easily understood what I do day to day. I fill many different roles and have a lot of different passions at WPS. The school community probably gets a lot of emails and communication from me on a variety of things. A big passion is Odyssey of the Mind and fundraising to support the success of that program here. I love our school and the community and often am involved with several initiatives at one time, doing whatever needs to be done.”
Among Miller’s most memorable moments through the years while working for WPS are the school’s community events.
“The Fall Festival and Family Movie Nights where our families get to come into the building and enjoy something fun with their children is wonderful to experience,” she said. “You get to know the children and families on a whole other level.”
Her family knows all about WPS as her husband teaches third grade at the school and both of their children attended the school.
“They are at Manchester and Windham Middle School now. So, I'm pretty invested in Windham and our school,” Miller said. “My family is lucky to have the same schedule, so we spend a lot of time together traveling all around Maine in the summer times. It's really special.”
Of everything that she has learned about teaching in her years at WPS, Miller says one thing stands out for her above all the rest.
“Teaching is not a job you can do alone,” she said. “It truly takes a team of caring professionals to ensure that all the students thrive. We can't do it by ourselves and I'm so grateful to be surrounded by such a wonderful staff and teaching partners.” <