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What teachers need to reach at-risk students

By Learning Forward and Rodney Robinson
August 2019
Vol. 40 No. 4
Rodney Robinson was named 2019 Teacher of The Year by the Council of Chief State School Officers. He teaches social studies and history to students in grades 6-12 at Virgie Binford Education Center, a school inside the Richmond Juvenile Detention Center in Virginia. He also works to develop alternative programs to prevent students from entering the school-to-prison pipeline. Robinson has been recognized for his culturally responsive and civics-focused teaching that includes engaging students in conversations about racism and the history of incarceration. He cites some of his proudest moments as seeing his students learn to advocate for themselves. Learning Forward recently asked Robinson to share his insights and advice about professional learning. Q: How has professional learning influenced your career? A: Professional learning has been

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Learning Forward is the only professional association devoted exclusively to those who work in educator professional development. We help our members plan, implement, and measure high-quality professional learning so they can achieve success with their systems, schools, and students.

2019 National Teacher of the Year | + posts

Rodney Robinson is a 19-year teaching veteran. He became a teacher to honor his mother, who struggled to receive an education after being denied an education as a child due to segregation and poverty in rural Virginia. In 2015, Robinson started teaching at Virgie Binford Education Center, a school inside the Richmond Juvenile Detention Center, in an effort to better understand the school-to-prison pipeline. Robinson uses the whole child approach to education to help the students who are most vulnerable. His classroom is a collaborative partnership between himself and his students and is anchored in him providing a civic centered education that promotes social-emotional growth. Robinson uses the knowledge he has gained from his students to develop alternative programs to prevent students from entering the school-to-prison pipeline.


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