Calculating for 75 Years: Maryland Math Teacher Still at the Head of the Class

Paul Miller has been teaching math for 75 years, that's 27,000 school days

ByABC News
June 11, 2010, 6:14 PM

June 15, 2010 — -- Paul Miller began teaching in 1934. President Roosevelt's New Deal was in full swing. The Nazi party was on the rise in Germany.

Miller was fresh out of "the cheapest school that I could find," where the only degree he could get was in elementary education, he said.

Today, 75 years and about 27,000 school days later, Paul Miller, now 93, is still teaching mathematics.

And he has no plans to quit anytime soon.

"He loves what he does and he wouldn't know what to do if he had more free time,'' said his son, Sam Miller, 48, a Maryland neurologist.

At an age when most of his contemporaries are already on the back end of their winding down decades, Miller is at work teaching three classes a day at a Yeshiva high school outside Baltimore, where he has taught for 51 years, including three generations from some families.

Miller routinely arrives at school hours before his classes begin each day to eat lunch with his students. (He likes the free meals.) And to prepare for class.

He's something of a Luddite. No computerized SMART Boards for him. He teaches his lessons from scratch each time, on the white board, though he hasn't yet gotten the hang of the multi-colored markers. Technology, he says, can't make a student any smarter.

But ask his students and colleagues about him and they paint a picture of a fair, patient and dedicated teacher who more than knows his stuff. About math and more. A natural storyteller, Miller serves as a personal history book, bringing to life what they learn in class.

"It's much different hearing it from someone who experienced things 50, 60, 70, 80 years ago, than just looking at a history book," said Meir Bamberger, 17, who is learning algebra and trigonometry from Miller at Ner Israel high school, where his father, Henry, was also a student of Miller's years ago.