Jessica Kobe Miller
Jess grew up on a small hobby farm in Northeastern Ohio, playing in the woods behind her house and hiking with her family every Sunday. She earned her B.A. in Early Childhood Education from Kent State University. She taught Kindergarten, first grade, and third grade in a large suburban public school on the east side of Cleveland. While teaching, Jess earned an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in English Language Arts as well as her K-12 reading endorsement and 4th-5th grade endorsement. In her classroom, she creatively adapted the standards-based curriculum to reflect and build on the children’s needs and interests, but she wanted to figure out how to better support children as both intellectual and social and emotional thinkers and doers. After spending four years in a public school setting, she was recruited by a professor from the University of Georgia to work on a research project about civic mindfulness and pursue her Ph.D. in Educational Theory and Practice. During her doctoral studies, she has focused her energy on learning to support children as they carve out a space for themselves in their social world and make room for one another, especially when they are navigating transition points in their lives like becoming a sibling, a student, and a friend. Jess has worked with young adults in a similar capacity, helping college freshman acclimate to university life and prospective educators transition from students to teachers. Her other experiences as an educator include working as an extended school year teacher for children with special needs, a tutor for elementary-aged children and undergraduate students, a teacher educator, a volunteer at after-school program, and a museum intern. She is currently writing her dissertation and will graduate in the summer of 2019. The title of her dissertation is “Stories of Belonging: Children Negotiating Relationships with their Peers”. Jess is excited to join AFK’s apprentice team, and continue exploring the relationships humans share with one another and nature.
Jess lives with her spouse, Lance, and their four-year-old lab named Leo on the eastside of Athens.