Rodney Robinson is the 2019 National Teacher of the Year as voted by the Council of Chief State School Officers.
Robinson, a civics teacher who works with incarcerated youth at the Virgie Binford Education Center in Richmond, Virginia, simply wants to honour his mother.
Even though she was unable to graduate—due to segregation and poverty—she instilled an unquenchable desire for education and empowerment within Robinson.
Inspired, he imparts that desire to youth who “[are] paying for their mistakes.” Recently, he spoke with CNN about his threefold message: “they’re important, you have a place in this world and you can achieve your goals.”
Here’s the crux, Robinson understands that teaching is more than facts, tests, and grades. Moreover, he edifies and empowers his students so they become their own best advocate. If nothing else, he wants his students to remember, mistakes are not permanent marks; they are learning experiences.
In truth, we need more teachers like Rodney Robinson.
Everyday Heroes Every Day