T.C. Williams High School teacher Molly Freitag has been named as ACPS Teacher of the Year and finalist for The Washington Post’s 2016 Outstanding Teacher of the Year.
Freitag, an AP World History teacher, is dedicated to fostering collaboration between students and staff through her role as the teacher advisor on the Superintendent’s Student Leadership Committee. She was instrumental in helping her students bring Georgia congressman and civil rights pioneer John Lewis to T.C. Williams as a speaker last November. Lewis marched with Dr. Martin Luther King in Selma in 1965. Freitag designed, created and staged the event with her students who sent letters to the newspapers after the event to thank the congressman for participating.
“I am so humbled by this. There are so many amazing educators in ACPS and I am just honored to be selected among them for this. The is the whole purpose of education, to open up opportunities for students and make sure any time they get a chance to meet historical figures of our day they should have a chance to meet them – this is what history is all about,” Freitag said.
Freitag is passionate about the study of history. She is the sponsor of the history club, including the Living Legends project and National History Day competition. She is also a mentor for Operation Graduation to help students reach their full potential and graduate on time.
“I would like to congratulate Molly on her dedication to her students and commitment to seeing them succeed. She is a great example of a high-performing teacher and thoroughly deserves this award,” said Superintendent Alvin L. Crawley.
“She is known for providing an exemplary learning community and student-centered classroom. She consistently works to refine her practice so that activities are relevant and interesting to her scholars. Through her inherent kindness and genuine interest for all students, Freitag demonstrates the ability to meet students where they are academically and emotionally, and this is a capability found in only the most exceptional and outstanding teachers,” said one of nominees.
Read what T.C. staff, parents and students have to say about her:
“Every time I walked into her classroom, I was greeted with a positive atmosphere. History is a hard subject to make appealing to students, but from mock trails to fun group projects, Ms. Freitag made sure her students were engaged into each unit.”
“…because I knew not only that I was going to be learning something interesting, but having fun while doing so.”
“Ms. Freitag is one of those rare teachers who meets a student where he or she is with regards to that student’s motivation, capability and creativity.”
“It’s not often students favor teachers, but from the start, I knew Ms. Freitag was going to be one I’d absolutely adore. I’m so proud of her and honored that she chose me as one of the students to speak on her behalf. You’ll always be teacher of the year in my book. xoxo!”
“If somebody walked into Ms. Freitag’s class on any given school day…instead of row after row of notebooks open and a PowerPoint on the board, you would probably hear the sounds of a lively debate on anything from the significance of blue Islamic architecture, to modern manifestations of Nazi ideology or the pros and cons of syncretic religions.”
“I believe both of my kids, at one time or another, claimed to be ‘Ms. Freitag’s favorite’. That in a nutshell explains Ms. Freitag. She has the understated ability to make every child feel valuable, capable and supported.”
“Have you ever had a teacher that you felt touches a life forever, a teacher who goes beyond their job and past school hours to make sure students know everything they need? I have had a teacher like that, Ms. Freitag. She is an amazing teacher.”
“When you have tens of thousands of years of history to cover, there is never a dull moment and Ms. Freitag clearly goes above and beyond to make our learning experiences interactive, in-depth and incredible.”
“…Molly excels as a teacher and in imparting both her knowledge of and love for social studies to her students. Molly has taught almost all levels of social studies, developing a deep knowledge of world history and government that allows her to instruct her Advanced Placement students to a high level of success on the AP exam.”
“…the ‘buzz’ is always that Ms. Freitag is a teacher you want your child to have standing in front of the classroom. She makes social studies come alive through her knowledge of the subject matter, through her humor and through her ability to relate to teenagers.”
“If there was something important going on in the news, she may tweet about it and write a question, and when we go to school the next day, we could answer for extra credit.”
“Ms. Freitag is instinctive in her teaching methods. She is able to size up a student or a class and figure out the best way to get through to them, all while encouraging their individual talents.”