Back in the Lab: Mr. Milling

Mr. Milling on the importance of experimentation and returning to Bishop’s


Mr. Milling

After a six-year break, which he took to teach in international schools in Ghana and Morocco, Mr. Milling has returned to Bishop’s.

Lisa Pan, Staff Writer


“In English, you want to act like a writer. In science, … you guys are the scientists.” – Physics Teacher Mr. Milling


Mr. Milling is a name that most high school students have only seen at the bottom of Conceptual Physics Enriched (CPE) worksheets. Physics teacher Ms. Rachel Ching described the curiosity of her former students, laughing. “The kids were like, ‘This problem is so crazy! Like, what is this? Who is this Milling?! Who is this Milling?!’”

This “Milling” is a new Bishop’s Physics teacher this year, Mr. Marcus Milling, who actually isn’t new to the school at all! In fact, he was a teacher at Bishop’s for eleven years before leaving to Morocco to teach internationally in 2016. As he returns to Bishop’s and is looking at teaching science, he strongly believes in a transformative learning experience with hands-on labs and in-person experiences.

During his break, Mr. Milling taught at many interesting and unique places, such as the Archer’s School for Girls in Los Angeles and two international schools — one in Ghana and one in Morocco. 

However, things at Bishop’s seem to have a special shine to them, he reflected. “It’s very much like a very fun game of tennis with the students that are here, because you kinda volley something over and it comes back at you with an interesting spin. You can volley it back and forth.” Mr. Milling said, as he leaned back in his chair.

Even after six years, Mr. Milling still remembers the unique traits of Bishop’s as clear as day. He said that “there’s lots of different dimensions, but one dimension you can think of in a school is how corporate it is versus how organic it is.” He explained that every teacher had very different, individual methods of teaching students, which made Bishop’s extremely organic back then. Mr. Milling smiled fondly. “There were a lot of really interesting organic things going on. People were being very creative.” 

While Mr. Milling is glad that the school has developed similar teaching styles between different teachers and their classes; he expressed that teachers are still individuals with creativity, and hopes to retain this mindset.

Many teachers agree that Mr. Milling has left a lasting imprint on our science curriculum. Dean of Faculty Mr. Ben Heldt, who was previously a long term member of the Bishop’s Science Department, shared that more students wanted a deeper science experience. “The ninth grade curriculum that Mr. Milling designed invites students’ curiosity and interest, and [it] is one factor in why more students want to pursue advanced science courses.” Ms. Ching said, “I think he really believes in students’ ability to be able to think, and he sets his class up that way.” 

Mr. Milling expressed his thoughts about most other schools’ science curricula. “There’s a lot of science students out there who do little to no experiments. They sit and they listen and they get lecture[d],” he said. In fact, Mr. Milling brought in most of the lab equipment used by freshmen today, back when the Science Center was first being built in 2008. His passion for physics poured into his worksheets and is inscribed in the curriculum that he built. 

“He seems very energetic. You can hear the passion in his voice,” Abraham “Abie” Nahl (‘26), a current student of Mr. Milling, said. Mr. Milling’s drive for organic learning to root itself deep into the heart of Bishop’s created an experience of a lifetime for many students.

He explained that experiments are how students learn what science is. “In science, you want to actually be acting like a scientist. And you guys are the scientists.” He smiled proudly, looking around his classroom, and said, “Learn how to learn and just understand the way the physical world operates.”

Our passions shape how we view the world, and Mr. Milling is a shining example of that. “When you understand astrophysics, how the universe developed, where it’s going, how large the universe is… that can’t help but change your overall perspective on where humanity fits,” Mr. Milling said. 

This year, Mr. Milling is looking forward to experimenting with new labs and getting to know the students. “It is like starting over, but if you think about it, every year is like that for a teacher. Every year you’re always meeting and working with new people,” he said. “Coming back here and getting established again, it’s like, what’s new that I can create?” 

As Mr. Milling experiences a new wave of students, the students are also experiencing his expertise. “He explains concepts really well,” Tyler Chang (‘26) said, even though he has only known Mr. Milling for four weeks. “I’m glad he’s back! I really enjoy the day-to-day interaction,” Physics teacher Mr. Adam Weiner said, grinning. The prospect of a new year bloomed in Ms. Ching’s voice as she said, “We, as a school, are very lucky that someone like [Mr. Milling] would choose to come back.”