It’s been too long since the last Teacher Feature! This holiday season, we move the spotlight onto Andrea Freitas, Kindergarten Teacher Assistant.
Bonjour Andrea! Tell us about yourself.
My name is Andrea Duran Freitas and I was born into a diplomatic family. From an early age, I became accustomed to a lifestyle that involved much foreign traveling, learning different languages and meeting people from different cultures from across the globe. I studied at the Lyçée Français International, in Europe, North and South America.
You speak more than French and English. How many other languages do you speak, exactly?
I feel very blessed to have studied and lived in so many amazing places, whilst acquiring five and a half foreign languages in my journey: French, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, English and Russian.
How did you end up in New Orleans?
In my teens, my family settled in New Orleans, a city I have grown to love for its rich, French and Spanish heritage, its unique cuisine and its music scene. I put myself through college by tutoring foreign languages and waitressing. After obtaining a BA in Political Science from the University of New Orleans and a minor in History, I moved back to Europe. I spent ten years in London, working for the Brazilian Embassy’s Visa Section and traveling all over Europe and Africa. After the birth of my daughter Gabriella, I moved to Florianopolis, an island South of Brazil. We were in Floripa as the island is known to locals, until we moved back to NOLA in 2001.
How did you get into teaching?
My daughter attended an immersion school and by the age of six she was trilingual. I started volunteering at the school and eventually became a Kindergarten Teacher Assistant in a French immersion setting until Katrina. In 2008, we returned to New Orleans where we continued to rebuild. Since Katrina, the Hispanic population in New Orleans grew rapidly and I trained to become a medical/ legal interpreter. As an interpreter, I helped people of Limited English Proficiency in all types of legal and medical matters. Now I work at Lycée as a Teacher Assistant, and I am delighted to be a part of the staff!