8News goes inside the classroom of Richmond’s Teacher of the Year

RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — Faculty, staff, and students at Open High School all agree that there’s no one more deserving of the Richmond Public School Teacher of the Year award than Clary Carleton. So, 8News visited Carleton’s classroom Friday.

Carleton’s students say every student needs a Ms. Carleton in their life. They say she deserves the recognition and much more.

36781bfd53b54ac1ae7b885936ffc6af“She deserves it. She really does. She is great. Before I came to Open (High) I would have never thought I would have met someone like her,” Jhanee Robinson told 8News.

Carleton’s bigger-than-life personality and passion for bringing English to life for her students is what they say sets her apart from the rest. On Friday, Carleton engaged with her students as they acted out Shakespeare’s ‘Othello.’

“She always makes class fun. She is always energetic. She does not just sit at a desk. She is up and moving,” Lijeana James said.

“I get to watch them grow and develop, explore new ideas, and explore new ways of thinking. I get to see my students learn in different ways. This is a very stimulating environment. I am never ever bored.”

She was chosen by colleagues at Open High School and other educators across the city of Richmond as Teacher of the Year.

7e69ffbf20254ab0b29d4d2b645fa8f48News asked her what she thinks makes an outstanding teacher.

“I focus on the individual student and every student has different needs and every student is going to grow at a different rate so  I keep that in mind,” Carleton said.

Carleton says teaching is very hard work, but she knows what the key to success is.

“You have to be devoted to the profession, and you have to be willing to constantly learn. I think that is want makes me a good teacher is I’m a good student,” she added.

School officials say those who select the RPS Teacher of the Year look for excellent teachers who are innovative and who execute great school-community relations.


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