Since she was a child, Freda Andrews knew that she wanted to pursue a career in education. Her experiences at Northside Elementary, alongside her involvement in the Southern Freedom Movement, influenced her desire to carve out spaces to teach Black history and inspire her students to feel empowered to take on life’s challenges. Her grandfather, Hilliard Caldwell, and Floyd McKissick are some of the important figures of her life.
Freda Andrews - On education, teaching, and the Freedom Movement
Freda Andrews is a daughter of the Northside. Notably, her primary and secondary school education transformed her life immeasurably. Her teachers, especially at Northside Elementary, created a classroom setting that directed individual attention to each student. Fostered by these nurturing teachers, she attributes their dynamic pedagogical methods to her desire to pursue a career in education. She reflects on how her involvement in the Freedom Movement shed light on the potency of change. She references poems and freedom songs that echo this fervent desire to evoke change. She recounts how she incorporated these poems into her teaching curriculum. She expresses that this unconventional style of teaching black history countered the negative stereotypes that were ascribed to her African-American students. She shared that one of her ultimate goals was to instill self-worth in her students. Additionally, she discusses her diverse teaching experiences and her challenges catering to the needs of her students. She states that her resilience was inspired by her key figures in her life like Hilliard Caldwell, Floyd McKissick, and her grandfather. She reflects on their instrumental roles in shaping her character and values. In the interview’s conclusion, she circulates back to her insights on education. Her career exposed the flaws of the education system to her, and she shares her ideal vision for classrooms. She notes that a paradigm shift in how individuals approach teaching their students will reform the school system.
"We’re writing our own history, thank you!"
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