94. 2019 National Teacher of the Year Rodney Robinson

Rodney has over 20 years experience as an educator with Richmond Public Schools. He graduated from King William High School in rural Virginia in 1996. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from Virginia State University in 2000 and a master’s in educational administration and Supervision from VCU in 2011.  He started teaching at Virgie Binford Education Center in 2015, a school inside Richmond Juvenile Detention Center, in an effort to better understand the school to prison pipeline.  His classroom is a collaborative partnership between him and the students.  He provides a civic centered education that promotes social-emotional growth.  The knowledge he is gaining from his students is also helping develop alternative programs to keep students from becoming part of the school to prison pipeline.

His accomplishments in education vary from his professional growth to his students’ personal growth.  He has been published four times by Yale University.  He has received numerous awards for his accomplishments in and out of the classroom, most notably the R.E.B. Award for Teaching Excellence.  He has worked with Pulitzer winning author James Foreman to develop curriculum units on race, class, and punishment as a part of the Yale Teacher’s Institute.

He was named the 2019 National Teacher of the Year by the Council of Chief States Schools’ Officers.  He used his time as teacher of the year to advocate for cultural equity to make sure students have teachers and administrators who look like them and value their culture.  He was recently named HBCU male alumnus of the year by HBCUdigest.com. He was also named #8 on the Root magazine’s Top 100 influential African Americans of 2019. Last December he was named Richmonder of the Year by Richmond Magazine. He is currently a senior advisor with Richmond Public Schools. He has started the RVA Men Teach Program to recruit and retain male teachers of color in Richmond Public Schools.  He is also working with the district to implement anti racist policies and pedagogy.  His passion is helping the underprivileged and underrepresented populations in America.

We get a chance to chill with Rodney, laugh, get deep and of course, a fire top five rappers.

Follow Rodney on Twitter @RodRobinsonRVA and on Instagram @rodrobinsonva, and at https://rodrobinsonrva.com/

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