Claire Miller first discovered her love for teaching through plastic tote boxes. By combining a spark of creativity with keen ingenuity, Miller and her childhood best friend flipped tote boxes upside down to create makeshift desks, transforming a dull storage item into the foundation of a classroom. Equipped with a full-size whiteboard, the duo became versed in the ways of teaching, and Miller cites this as her first venture into her blossoming interest in teaching.
Years later, in high school, Miller would develop a strong passion for English.
“During my sophomore year, I realized I wanted to teach English. The teacher I had was so compassionate but had high expectations for us, which was a lovely combination,” Miller said.
Inspired by her own English teacher’s dedication, Miller chose teaching as a career, and has been teaching for about five years. However, her career has also spanned outside of traditional classrooms.
“I student-taught with Fort Zumwalt and have taught in Northeast Missouri schools, as well as teaching at an in-patient rehab facility for teenagers and working with international university students,” Miller said.
By stepping outside of the conventional classroom, Miller has gained a variety of new perspectives, especially during her time teaching at a rehabilitation facility.
“When I worked with students in rehab, I focused on critical literacy and self-care,” Miller said. “We read the poem ‘Joey’ by Neil Hilborn and discussed access to medical care. Their engagement and insight with a topic that was so close to them stands out as a really radical moment in my career.”
As an incoming teacher, Miller will bring a noteworthy point of view to the CHS English curriculum. She is eager to join the English department, especially because of the conferencing program, which drew her to Clayton.
Miller spent this summer attending a few shows, along with teaching summer school and spending valuable time with family and friends. With the end of the summer and the school year closely approaching, Miller feels enthusiastic about starting her time in the district.
“I’m so excited to be a part of Clayton.”