Dr. Gelman: More than a Teacher

In the bustling halls of PVHS, Dr. Gelman is a familiar face who shares his knowledge of psychology for the past 37 years. Beyond the classroom, Gelman reveals a profound passion for teaching that extends far beyond textbooks: forming heartfelt connections with his students.

Gelman’s journey into teaching was not a linear one, but a blend of his love for learning and a desire to make a difference. After graduating from Temple and Widener University, he found his true calling in psychology education. 

“I always enjoyed school, I loved high school and I like history. Especially with psychology, there are useful things that people could use to enhance their lives,” Gelman said. 

Before coming to PVHS, Gelman started his teaching career in Israel in 1984, where he taught English for one year. His experiences there shaped his resilient spirit and unique way of connecting with people.

Finding humor even in the most challenging situations, Gelman recalls, “being able to tell jokes in a bomb shelter” while in Israel, showcasing his ability to bring light into the darkness.

Outside of school, his life is colorful and diverse. He’s not just a teacher; he’s an avid kayaker, a grandparent, and a car enthusiast. Recently, he has been taking this creativity and channeling it into turning his screenplay, “Real Life,” into a novel.

“The novel realistically portrays ‘real life’ for high school seniors who each have their own demons to deal with. I just finished the movie script but am working on converting it into a novel hoping it could be published,” Gelman said. 

His passion for teaching goes beyond the classroom where he has been the coach of the Speech and Debate club for six years. 

“The coach before me retired from it and two seniors that I taught were officers and did the puppy eye routine, so I said okay,” Gelman said, revealing his commitment to his students.

Despite his years of teaching, retirement isn’t on his horizon yet. The laughter, heartfelt thank-you cards, and genuine connections with his students keep him going.

“I leave the building with a good feeling, good vibes, good energy… why would I want to retire?” Gelman said. 

Throughout his career, Gelman has made connections with people and found joy in unexpected places. His classroom isn’t just a study space; it’s a hub of creativity and learning. In every laugh, every brainstorm, and every email, he leaves an impact, reminding people that the person behind the teacher’s desk is as fascinating as the lessons they impart.