David Edelman is a Social Studies educator in NYC Public Schools and is staffed as a Peer Collaborative Teacher. David provides instructional coaching, mentoring and professional learning, in addition to teaching Government & Economics. His classroom serves as a learning lab and demonstration classroom to foster collaboration and elevate student voice. David teaches at Union Square Academy for Health Sciences (USA) a new, unscreened, public high school with a Career & Technical Education focus in NY, NY. Students at USA take hands-on lab classes in either dentistry or pharmacy technology. In addition to receiving a standard liberal arts education, all students have paid internships and professional mentors who expose students to careers.
It was David’s service in AmeriCorps NCCC, a yearlong national service program similar to the domestic Peace Corps that solidified David’s desire to follow in his mother’s footsteps and become a public school teacher. David was invited by Representative Carolyn McCarthy in 2007 to testify before Congress to reauthorize AmeriCorps and advocate for the GIVES Act. These experiences helped foster his desire to center learning on student led activism and civic engagement. Generation Citizen has played a major role in supporting David and his students in this endeavor.
His students’ recent activism aimed at improving access to clean, lead free drinking water has received international attention, was covered by WNYC and has led to the installation of new environmentally friendly fountains with bottle fillers and filtration systems. David’s students have been analyzing water quality in homes and at schools since their fountains first tested positive for elevated lead levels in 2017. David received the Alfred P Sloan Teaching Champion Award for Economics Education in 2019 for his teaching which has greatly enhanced students’ personal finance skills.
When David isn’t working, he is usually playing with his two daughters in various NYC parks, travelling, learning about tea, admiring street art and trying to identify wild edible plants. You can learn more about David, his teaching and see examples of his students’ civic action at his website www.cagebustingclassrooms.com.