In the next installment of our “10 Questions With…” series, we spoke with Adam Marcus. Adam has been a Lead Adaptive Physical Education Teacher at the Eden School for just over a year.
What was your first impression of Eden?
My first impression of Eden was this was a great place for students with autism to come and feel accepted and really have an opportunity to succeed.
Have you always wanted to be a gym teacher?
It took me a while to figure out. I started in college as an accounting major. Then, I realized I wanted to work with kids, and I switched to a math education major. I quickly realized that math wasn’t the way for me to go, and I put my love for sports and my passion for working with kids together and I ended up with physical education. I just kind of fell into working with kids with special needs as I went along, and I love working with this population.
What’s a typical day like as a gym teacher at Eden?
It’s constantly busy. There’s always something to be done — helping out with another class or something going on in the gym, teaching a class, working one on one with a student, collecting data, writing up reports. There’s always something that has to be done; you’re constantly in motion.
You’ve implemented some fun new activities and games for the students. Do you have a favorite?
I love the broom ball, and I think the students are really enjoying that too. I’ve gotten some really good feedback from curling so far, and I’m excited to see where we can go with that once we move inside as it gets colder.
This year has been quite different from any other year in teaching. How did you rework your classes to fit virtual learning?
I collaborated with the rest of my department, and we came up with an idea of what we wanted PE to look like virtually. We made sure it was something all of our students could participate in. We catered all of their sessions to fit their specific needs, whether that was more of a check-in with families to make sure they’re moving and doing well, or if we could get the kids up and moving we did a lot of movement videos from YouTube, where students would follow along with teachers’ movements. We just tried to make it as fun and engaging as we possibly could for everyone.
What is your favorite sport’s team?
The Washington Capitals! Hockey is my favorite sport, so I’m a huge Capitals fan. The Baltimore Ravens are a close second. I’m a native Marylander that has relocated to New Jersey, so I rep Maryland very hard. I always have Old Bay at my desk.
What do you like to do when you’re not teaching?
When I’m not teaching I love to play hockey or other sports, watch movies, cook, and go on hikes with my fiancée.
On a dreary, rainy day, what’s your go-to comfort food?
Chocolate chip cookies are my guilty comfort food. Add in a little ice cream and I’m a happy guy.
What do you enjoy most about the holiday season?
Getting to spend time with family. Normally, I get to see my grandparents who live in New York, but this year we won’t with everything going on. Typically, I spend time with my family and just relax and enjoy not worrying about anything else. And I watch football all of Thanksgiving.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is seeing the students have fun while they’re playing the different sports we do in the gym. I had one student last year actually thank me for playing soccer with her, and it was from a student who I never thought would say that. On her own, without any prompting, she thanked me. I live for those little moments of satisfaction of knowing you made a difference in the students’ day. Those little moments where the kids are having fun and smiling and just having a good time are really what I live for.