Gabe Davidson has an inherent drive for social justice causes. He is always on the move and rarely has time for himself.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been able to sit around and do nothing for too long,” Davidson said. “There’s always more to do.”
The 24-year-old completed his undergraduate studies at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy. He obtained dual master’s degrees in special education and elementary education from Lesley University this past May.
Just shy of three years ago, the Rockville, Md., native settled in the Patterson Park neighborhood. He began working as a teacher in Baltimore City Public Schools through Urban Teachers, a Baltimore-based training program for new educators. Davidson got his feet wet as a resident teacher and instructor at Dr. Carter G. Woodson Elementary/Middle School and Maree G. Farring Elementary/Middle School.
His passion for working with young students has been taken to the next level. For the last calendar year, Davidson has taught his own classes in the special education department at Armistead Gardens Elementary/Middle School.
He has proven to be an advocate both in and out of the classroom, especially in the Jewish community. He is active with Chabad Lubavitch of Downtown Baltimore, lives at Moishe House Baltimore and serves on The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore’s Young Adult Israel and Overseas Committee.
The young professional’s schedule hasn’t prevented him from participating in Volo City, previously known as Baltimore Social, which offers a variety of sports leagues.
How long have you been teaching?
This is my second year of formal teaching. I work with students with moderate disabilities, which range from intellectual disabilities to autism. I work with small groups in areas that target instruction in math and literacy in grades one through four.
What inspired you to become a teacher?
My mom has broadly been involved in Jewish education for the last 20 years. When I was growing up, she was an administrator at Jewish day schools and also taught Sunday school. My sophomore year of college, I went to Israel and lived on a kibbutz for five months, and when I came back, I started teaching at Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim in Charleston, S.C. I really enjoyed it, and it was my first time teaching in that type of setting. My senior year of college, I was thinking about the type of job I wanted, and I knew I wanted to be a teacher.
And that led youto Urban Teachers?
Yes. I thought about doing something related to my Jewish identity, perhaps something social justice oriented. After I came back from Israel and had some teaching experience, the Urban Teachers program reached out to me. So I did some research, and I thought it looked pretty cool. Right now, the program is only in Baltimore, Dallas and Washington, D.C., and I was interviewed to be participant in Baltimore or Washington. I picked Baltimore.
Around the time I interviewed, there was the uprising in Baltimore that followed the death of Freddie Gray [in police custody]. It was definitely an interesting time. I did not know Baltimore that well, as I had only been to the city a few times. But I really liked the charm. Baltimore has a lot of neighborhoods and a lot of green space. One thing I was worried about was if there would be enough green space so I could play sports or walk around. My first year here, I lived in Patterson Park, and for me, the neighborhood identity has always been something I have found to be really neat.
Now you live in Moishe House Baltimore?
Yes. I was in touch with a resident who lived in Moishe House last year. I had attended events through the organization about two or three times per month, and I really enjoyed them and made a lot of friends. So when I found out Moishe House was moving locations [from Federal Hill to Canton] and [that there was] an opportunity to live in the house, I thought it would be a perfect it. Living there, I have taken full advantage of the opportunity to plan events and be at all the events.