Rodney is a Senior Policy Advisor with Richmond Public Schools. He is director of the RVA Men Teach Program to recruit and retain Male teachers of Color with Richmond Public Schools.
Rodney is a 20-year teaching veteran. 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 developing 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 is 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. His passion is helping the underprivileged and underrepresented populations in America.
2019 National Teacher of the Year Rodney Robinson's address to the nation.
Rodney highlights the history of black education in America and the importance of teachers of color with stories of his personal journey. He also describes what being named National Teacher of the Year means to him and his students.