Thea Barbour Harms Is a 2nd grade teacher at Maryland Elementary. She has always wanted to be a teacher due to having great role models.
“My grandmother was a high school librarian. We spent hours browsing through books at the public library and reading. My grandparents were great storytellers/leaders and really believed in me. They always stressed how important it was to get a good education and to be an independent, strong woman. I also had a handful of amazing teachers I wanted to emulate as I connected with these teachers personally. They saw qualities in me that I didn’t see in myself.”
This is her 24th year teaching in Bexley and the beginning of her 29th year in education. Thea is the first Black elementary school teacher in the district. Hands down, her favorite thing about teaching is building relationships with students. She has stayed connected with many former students via social media. Last Spring, a former student, returning to student-teach at Maryland, walked into her room and asked if Thea remembered her name right away.
Thea and her husband Seth have always encouraged their boys to push themselves academically. School is a priority in their home. Both of them sat at the homework table, attended school meetings and events and attended parent teacher conferences.
From the time their boys were tiny, they were expected to choose a creative and athletic extracurricular activity. They have traveled and attended theatre as well. Their family believes that a well-rounded education builds character and makes you a more empathetic person.
“When I am not teaching, I spend a lot of time reading. I listen to podcasts about books, read book reviews, follow bookstagramers, and am a member of an amazing book club.”