Teacher Feature: Mr. Fredericks


Mr. Fredericks smiling as always

There is a famous saying, “History is who we are and why we are the way we are.” Joseph Fredericks is a World History teacher here at Freehold and he is all about who we are and how history has impacted us. Mr. Fredericks said, “I always loved history and Asian history was my favorite topic.”

Mr. Fredericks’ “history” started in college with a degree in Literature with a focus on Russian revolutionary literature. When he went back to school to get his teaching degree he had to pick a second major so he picked History. “I was a good ten years older than everyone else in the classes so I had a better connection with the professors.”

And that’s what Mr. Fredericks looks forward to every day when the school day starts- the connection. One of his earliest supervisors gave him great advice. “Edward Casale, my first supervisor, always said have fun with the students and the learning will follow.” The problem with that is the pandemic has played such a key in learning in 2020. As Mr. Fredericks has said about the disadvantages of virtual learning, “when kids are in the classroom and you can walk around and see their faces, know if they get what you are talking about. teaching to a screen is difficult beyond words.”

Even more, Mr. Frederick just like the rest of us students and teachers alike feels like there are things missing. He told, “No Rubic’s cube club is hard and just being with the students on a daily basis.” So to keep things organized and fresh Mr. Fredericks uses his not-so-secret weapon, “Ms. Burton is my saving grace and helps with that. I would be lost without Ms. Burton.”

When it comes down to it our history is our past but it impacts our present and future. It also says something about a person like what you think you know but don’t really know.  For example, Mr. Fredericks is actually an introverted person and doesn’t really like to be in large crowds. You would not even know it during classes that are for sure. But you also should know that if he won the lottery and decided to give up teaching, he would move to Florida and work for Disney. One wonders if Mr. Fredericks could teach history to Mickey and Minnie. As a teacher of World History, Mr. Fredericks would take students on a field trip all over the world from Normandy Beach in France to Vienna Austria, to Japan and India.

Martin Luther King Jr once said that We Are Not Makers of History. We Are Made By History. During a time where people are so worried about trying to fit in and keep to the status quo, Mr. Fredericks is one of a select few people who tries to make history by teaching us about the history before us.