Robbie Harms is a 5th-grade math and science teacher in Koontz Intermediate School’s dual-language program.
This year, he’s made a big impression on Natalia Lew after seeing her son Matias thrive in his class.
"He’s not going to let a kid fall behind, and I’m very happy to have him as my son’s teacher this year," says Lew.
Matias is usually a virtual student, but was in class today, grateful for the teacher who has made fifth-grade fun.
"Whenever we have a test, we always do some little game before it, like, he finds little games you can do that are interesting," explains Matias.
Harms tries to add fun to adding fractions today, by having the kids use models, number lines and fun visualizations.
"We put a big emphasis on visualizing the problem, so solving with a model, rather than like the way I learned in 5th grade, was just kind of rote memorization," Robbie Harms explains.
Harms says teaching is in his blood, with parents who are both lifelong educators.
However, after college at Chapel Hill, he started a career in the sports world.
"I got a job as a sports reporter after college, then realized it really wasn’t for me," Harms explains. "Then I started working at a school. I was in San Diego at the time and realized that’s what I really wanted to do. I think I kind of always knew I wanted to do it."
Now Harms is enjoying the career he’s made for, in a school he loves.
"Koontz is an incredible place to work. They’ve been here throughout the year for all the different challenges they face, and I’m just really lucky to have a teaching job here," says Harms.