Destined to become a teacher

New aquatic science teacher, multisport coach Gabe Adame knew in eighth grade that he wanted to be a teacher


David Winter

Coach Gabe Adame oversees weightlifting during the football program’s strength and conditioning at the Mac practice fields on Aug 25.

Kate Boyle, staff reporter

Starting to teach at a new school is hard, but it’s even harder in the middle of a pandemic. Gabe Adame, a new teacher at McCallum, is going to be teaching aquatic science as well as coaching football and basketball.

This will be his sixth year teaching, but he’s wanted to be a teacher since eighth grade. He recalls a day when his algebra teacher left the classroom to go to the bathroom and asked for volunteers to teach the next problem to the class.

I never want students to feel like they have to fit this status quo by being interested in what I’m interested in.

— Gabe Adame

“It just felt so good and natural, helping out my boys and the class,” Adame said. “I don’t know, from that moment on I knew I wanted to teach. It was destiny.”

He found his interest in aquatic science during college. His major was Biology, but his minor was ecology and he became interested and passionate about the environment and environmental systems, which ties directly into aquatic science.

When teaching Zoom classes, he’s figured out a great way to get students interested is to add humor.

“I’m an extrovert at heart so when it comes to participation I’m trying to overcome those moments of awkwardness with humor,” Adame said.

Something that he loves about McCallum is the community is how welcoming everyone’s been. He’s already seen how involved some of the parents can be while coaching football this summer. He also loves how interested the students at McCallum are in learning.

“I really like the students who are attentive and listening,” Adame said, “They actually log on to zooms and that means the world to me.”

High School sports aren’t new for Mr. Adame. He played football and ran track in high school and also played club basketball outside of school.

Coaching through a pandemic is a whole new struggle. Summer workouts this year were limited because of coronavirus, and although the teams’ football IQ is a little low because of missed practices they are all working hard to catch up on. Football IQ is all about knowing your place in a play, and its purpose. Wearing masks and cleaning equipment has become essential as part of pandemic coaching.

Adame has been to five out of the seven continents: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Teaching science and coaching football might have more in common than you think.

“The law of physics applies directly to football, and we use that to our advantage,” Adame said. “We tell the kids how to use momentum, leverage, pivoting to establish the good force in motion.”

Biology is also especially important this year. Biology helps you understand the virus and it’s been something he’s been teaching the football players this year so that they can stay safe.

Mr. Adame has been to five out of the seven continents. He’s obviously been to North America, but he’s also been to South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. He hopes that he’ll be able to go to Africa when the pandemic is over, and someday he wants to go to Antarctica.

Travel has influenced his teaching greatly. It’s opened his eyes to how he wants his students to feel in his class.

“I never want students to feel like they have to fit this status quo by being interested in what I’m interested in,” Adame said. “My goal is to get kids to have a good work ethic, to find something they are passionate about, and to be mindful and respectful of others’ ideas.”