Behind the Mask of Teachers: Miss Miller

Miss Miller with one of her many plants.

Morgan Miller was introduced to Fargo North when she student taught with Mrs. Livingston two years ago, and officially joined the English department the following year. She quickly became one of the good student teachers during her time learning from the honorable Mrs. Livingston herself. During her time as a student teacher, it became apparent that she was near the top of Mr. Dahlen’s prospect list, and luckily, the year following her student teaching semester, she became the new Livingston-in-training. I was personally one of her students during her student teaching semester with Livingston and I particularly enjoyed her sense of humor and bubbly personality. I knew for a fact that she had potential and was excited to see where she would go at North. So now without further adieu, I present to you, in my opinion, the female version of Mr. Lehman; Miss Miller.
Miller grew up in Bismarck, North Dakota, and was quite the child growing up. As she described herself, she was very sassy, aggressive, and a biter. “As a kid, I was very, very feisty,” Miller said.
Miller did have a sweet spot for one thing as a child though, her beloved ventriloquist doll named Charlie. He was originally given to her sister as a gift, but eventually it was Miller’s favorite doll, which she slept with every night (totally not creepy at all). She did not sleep hugging it or with it next to her, but rather face to face with its arms wrapped around her (again, totally normal).
“You can’t hate on Charlie, don’t you dare,” Miller said defensively before I could even react to the bombshell she had just dropped.
A fun example of Miller’s love for Charlie and her bitter childhood aggression happened at daycare as a kid. One day an evil villain/little girl named Erica ripped Charlie’s arm off, which was very hard to fix as his body was plastic and the arms were plush. In retaliation, Miller bit Erica so bad that she had to get stitches. Following this Mike Tyson-style takedown attack, Erica was never seen at daycare again.
This aggression was later transferred into a more appropriate outlet as she joined sports in high school. In high school, she played volleyball and ran track. She also was involved in Key Club and wrote for the school newspaper (baby Livingston).
Following high school, Miller attended NDSU for college with the plan to major in education. The teachers she had in high school were the ones who inspired her to go into education. Miller specifically had one teacher, who she’s still close with today, that really made a positive impact on her.
“She helped me through some junky stuff that I went through and I just wanted to be that for students,” Miller said.
Though Miller thinks high schoolers are “just awesome,” and she enjoys being a part of their lives, she was not always an education major while in college.
“I actually didn’t want to be a teacher for the longest time, because student teaching terrified me.”
Once she realized this fear, she switched her major to public relations and communications. After a year in that field, she had no idea what she wanted to do with that as a career, so she “bucked up” and switched back to teaching.
“I didn’t really have a plan, so that’s probably why it took me five years to graduate.”
Miller had no reason to fear student teaching as it went very well at Fargo North. Her favorite thing about student teaching was simply forming relationships with the students and her soon-to-be colleagues. She enjoyed getting to know the students whom she now sees as seniors about to graduate.
“I feel like a mom in a way to see them grow up through the years, so that was probably the best part about student teaching.”
If Miller had not faced her fear of student teaching, she said her dream job would have to be either a stay-at-home wife or a stay-at-home mom. Unfortunately, in her own words, “that is not working out very well right now.”
With her backup plan still in progress, Miller has now been a teacher for a couple of years. She has made some great and not-so-great memories here at North. One memory that is a combination of both happened last year with the metal basketball hoop in her classroom. Her students wanted to play basketball with her, and the number one rule is that they can’t touch the basketball hoop or else it will fall down. However, Miller wanted to ensure that the kids knew she was athletic so she wanted to try to dunk. When she attempted her dunk, the metal hoop fell and smacked her in the forehead so badly that she bled.
“It was terrible, and we giggled for a long time,” Miller said laughing.
Outside of school, Miller enjoys the simple things in life. She fills her free time with caring for her plants and facetiming her nieces and nephews. Miller also cleans and organizes for fun, as well as plays on some recreational volleyball teams. She also cleans and organizes other people’s houses as a fun side job.
During her secret real human life and not teacher life in the summer, Miller spends lots of time at the lakes and travels to visit family and friends.
“I normally just kind of couch hop from a friends lake place to another friends lake place to another friends lake place. . .”
She also spends at least a month visiting her sister and their family. Her sister is married to a Marine, so they move around quite a bit and get to live in much more exciting places. They currently are in Virginia and before that were living in California.
Outside of living at her friends’ lake houses and visiting family, she never has much of a set agenda for these months off.
“I never have anything planned for the summers and it’s glorious.”
One last fun little tidbit about Miller is that she, like many of us students, loves Kendall Jenner. When asked who would play her in a movie about herself, her answer was simply, “Kendall Jenner without a doubt, because she’s a babe.” Maybe teachers aren’t so different from us after all…
Miller would like to leave you readers with a few bits of advice that have helped her in life. Firstly, Miller would like her students and our future generation in general to just be nice to people and to work hard in whatever you do in your life. As we both agree, the world could always use more nice people. Lastly, Miller would like to leave you with a piece of advice I found to be extremely valuable. That advice being, “Don’t be an angry elf.” So like her pal Buddy, don’t be a cotton-headed ninny muggins, spread cheer, stick to your four main food groups, and don’t stuff cookies into the VCR.
BIG thanks to Kim Kadrmas for conducting the interview used as a reference for this article!