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RVA Men Teach

Our goal is to improve students’ academic, social, and professional outcomes by recruiting, retaining, and professionally developing male minority educators.

Dreams4RPS Goals

  • ACTION 2.1 - TOP TALENT: Redesign the human resources department to ensure that: 1)RPS is able to fill every vacancy with a highly skilled professional; and 2) both our employees and our applicants receive outstanding customer service.
  • ACTION 2.2 - DIVERSE TEACHERS: Launch an effort explicitly focused on increasing and retaining the number of male minority educators in RPS.
  • ACTION 2.5 - EQUITY AND INCLUSION: Provide ongoing training to help RPS staff identify and confront our implicit biases with respect to race, economic status, country of origin or citizenship status, LGBTQ identification, and other elements of personal identity. In doing so, affirm our commitment to ALL students and staff.

A US Department Of Education study found a positive relationship between the presence of teachers of color and the achievement of all students. When teachers of color are present, there are several benefits for ethnic and minority students: We want to improve students’ academic, social, and professional outcomes by recruiting, retaining, and professionally developing male educators of color. Benefits include: 

  • They are represented in fewer numbers in special education.
  • There is a decrease in absenteeism.
  • Parents and students are more involved in school activities.

Black children who get a Black teacher in the elementary grades are 39% less likely to drop out of high school and 19% more likely to go on to college.

Program Components

Steering Committee – A committee of veteran Richmond Public Schools Male Educators of Color who provide mentorship and direction of the RVA MenTeach program. They meet once a month to provide direction and support to Male Educators of Color and decide on special recognitions for the program.

Professional Development/Mentorship – RVA MenTeach will provide support for first- and second-year male teachers of color in the district to supplement the New Teacher Mentorship Program offered to all teachers. RVA MenTeach will provide culturally competent professional development for all teachers to strengthen student outcomes.

Licensure and Certification Support – RVA MenTeach will work collaboratively with Talent Office and Offices of Curriculum and Support to establish a licensure support programs to help male teachers of color and all teachers of color in the district move from provisionally licensed to obtaining a professional teacher’s licensure by the state of Virginia. 

Partnerships – RVA MenTeach will work to establish partnerships with local non-profits, the philanthropic community, colleges/universities, and national teacher recruitment organizations to support efforts to recruit and retain male educators of color in the district and build the teacher pipeline. 

Recognition and Celebrations – RVA MenTeach will regularly celebrate the accomplishments of Male Educators of Color in Richmond Public Schools. RVA MenTeach will recognize students who exemplify the qualities of past Male Educators of Color in Richmond Public Schools

RVA Men Teach HBCU Teacher Residency

RVA Men Teach has partnered with Virginia State University and Virginia Union University to create a teacher residency program for male minority teachers. Residents will earn a masters degree in Elementary Education or Special Education will working as a long term substitute teacher for one residency year in Richmond Public Schools. VSU/VUU and RVA Men Teach will provide courses, mentoring, pedagogical support, and instructional coaching during their resident year. Courses will be a hybrid mix of in person and online classes. Residents will earn up to $28/hour during their residency year. 

Minimum Hiring & University Program Standards:

  • Bachelor's degree or the equivalent in experience in the field of education,
  • A passion for children/young people and teaching
  • Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Ability to work efficiently and independently,
  • Passion to become a teacher leader for high-need schools
  • Demonstrates experience working in a diverse environment, with a strong commitment to VSU/VUU and cultural responsiveness.
  • Candidate commits to 3 years of teaching in Richmond or Petersburg after receiving their Master’s in Education with the school division

Apply at  


The goal of our partnership with the Distinguished Fellows program is to develop prospective middle and high school students, preservice, and current teachers from underserved, socio-economically disadvantaged, and educationally at-risk backgrounds to have a unified transition for entering and staying in the teaching profession. Our program will provide mentoring, leadership skill, character development, and a safe space for these individuals to learn and grow together.

This initiative will have a significant impact on male educators of color who currently represent only 2% of the teacher workforce. This collaboration with Richmond Public Schools is to provide a pathway for diversifying the teacher workforce in our local communities, focusing especially on those individuals from underserved, socio-economically disadvantaged, and educationally at-risk communities (e.g., male educators of color).

We are now accepting applicants for the 2021-22 academic school year. Please apply via our online form.

Leading Men Fellowship 

The Literacy Lab’s Leading Men Fellowship creates opportunities for young men of color and increases representation in the field of education.  Leading Men Fellows are young men of color who have recently graduated from high school and participate in a year-long, residency-style experience in which they provide evidence-based literacy support to pre-kindergarten students while receiving robust coaching and professional development and gaining valuable experience. Learn more

Rodney Robinson

Contact Us!

Rodney A. Robinson
Sr. Advisor Teacher Pathways
RVA Men Teach
2019 National Teacher of the Year
Yale National Fellow 2011, 2014 & 2018

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