Teacher of the Year works with youths in juvenile detention

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — America’s 2019 National Teacher of the Year teaches students at a juvenile detention facility in Richmond, Virginia.

Rodney Robinson has been a teacher for 19 years, the last four at a school inside the Richmond Juvenile Detention Center.

His award was announced Wednesday by the Council of Chief State School Officers.

Robinson said he gives his students “empathy, not sympathy” and tries to teach them how to overcome the problems they’ve had in their young lives.

As Teacher of the Year, Robinson will spend the next year traveling the country advocating for students and teachers. He said he plans to focus on ensuring equity for all students and recruiting more black and Hispanic men as teachers.

Robinson said he’s looking forward to sharing the story of his students.

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