Dr. Whitaker’s workshop on culturally responsive pedagogy was illuminating! She is full of resources and was happy to share all kinds of information that I can take into my classroom.
Manya Whitaker is such a tremendous resource in our community. She has helped me significantly with my son’s education needs.
I just wanted to touch base and let you know that [daughter] committed to Rhodes College in Memphis. We would never have found that perfect fit without your recommendation. Rhodes really came through with financial aid and scholarships too! Your guidance was invaluable. We’ll be contacting you in four years about medical schools! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
Manya helped me find colleges that aligned with my interests and goals. She wasn’t pushy and really listened to me. She helped me practice for an on-campus interview and to arrange college visits. She even edited my application essays. I got accepted Early Decision! I’m very grateful for her help.
Manya really helped my daughter start thinking about college and her future. The college profile packet was especially great because my family hadn’t thought about all of things that go into choosing a college. Manya helped clarify that without pushing us towards a certain type of school.
Dr. Whitaker has a way of teaching material where it is understandable by all. She provided me an opportunity to feel as if I was able to overcome my educational struggles. I became more confident thanks to her.
Manya Whitaker has been an invaluable mentor as I prepare to head off to graduate school for education policy. With her extensive experience in the research field of education, she was able to help me generate a perspective on what graduate school is right for me and how to amplify my qualifications to be the most competitive applicant possible. Not only does she give fantastic advice and ask compelling questions, but Manya also is genuinely interested in my future and in the work she is doing. I highly recommend Manya’s services for any student considering graduate school and for anyone interested in pursuing careers in education.
I am a teacher at [school], and I have always worked at urban schools. I just wanted to let you know that the speech you gave at our graduation ceremony was, by far, the best commencement speech I have ever had the privilege of hearing. Thank you so much for being such an inspiration and for reminding me why I work with the amazing kids that I work with.
I attended some excellent break-out sessions, but the one that I was able to take away the most practical information for my position was “Building Relationships With Hard to Reach Families” presented by Dr. Manya Whitaker. Dr. Whitaker talked about the “asset-based” model of parent involvement. In this model we view families as pods of knowledge. By implementing this model educators should acknowledge that everyone has something to offer in their children’s educational pursuit and we should capitalize on the diversity. The asset-based model will be helpful when working with hard to reach families. It is another tool to help bridge communication between home and school and to, hopefully, help build relationships that will lead to higher achievement and parent involvement for all of our students.