Meet Mr. Ja-Mel Whitaker from the Spanish Department. Five years ago, he began teaching to be an agent for change. He strives to expose student to cultures that are different, yet similar to theirs.
Although he feels like he is still planting his roots at TMA as a first year teacher, he is impressed by the students, program and work life balance of the staff. “TMA has allowed me to hone in on my craft while pushing me to be a better educator,” explains Whitaker. In his Spanish 3 class the students are finally realizing the discipline of the language. The content area applies to an array of topics and subjects they are learning about.
When not at TMA, you may see Mr. Whitaker moonlighting as a Spanish or Sign Language Interpreter. And in his free time, he enjoys running, hiking, going to the beach, bowling, shopping, hanging out with his nieces and nephews, exploring new cultures, traveling, eating at new restaurants, and exploring all that DC has to offer.
“Thurgood Marshall Academy students are so lucky to learn in a school that is not only preparing them for college but for the real world. I want to be known as the teacher that pushes education as a key to success, a key to getting out and becoming a productive GLOBAL citizen,” says Ja’Mel.
Recently, the Spanish Department hosted a Hispanic Cultural Event for students. There was a salsa making station, made to order quesadillas, arts and crafts and the highlight of the event was bachata and salsa lessons taught by yours truly(Mr. Whitaker). This was a fun opportunity for the students to share their love of the culture and language with their peers and teachers. Congrats to Ms. Alverado- Sieg, Ms. Stevens, and Mr. Whitaker on a successful event.