The Discoverer

How do TCS  High Performance Athletes Balance Sports and School

Simon+Correa%2C+11th+grade+golfer%2C+member+of+Selecci%C3%B3n+Colombia%2C+catching+up+with+schoolwork+after+a+tournament+in+Bogota.+
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How do TCS  High Performance Athletes Balance Sports and School

Simon Correa, 11th grade golfer, member of Selección Colombia, catching up with schoolwork after a tournament in Bogota.

Simon Correa, 11th grade golfer, member of Selección Colombia, catching up with schoolwork after a tournament in Bogota.

Felipe Hernandez

Simon Correa, 11th grade golfer, member of Selección Colombia, catching up with schoolwork after a tournament in Bogota.

Felipe Hernandez

Felipe Hernandez

Simon Correa, 11th grade golfer, member of Selección Colombia, catching up with schoolwork after a tournament in Bogota.

Felipe Hernandez, Discoverer Staff Writer

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The U.S. Department of Education stated the in the United States, there are 7.4 million high school students practice sports.

The Columbus School is a school that encourages students to practice sports and be involved in extracurricular activities. Some students, took this a step further, being good enough to represent their Antioquia and even Colombia in their respective sports. This is something that helps the students in their personal growth and other aspects of their life, but still, its a huge challenge. “Its hard because when I miss school because of tournaments and sometimes I arrive late from training so I have to stay up late doing homework,” Tomas Jaramillo, a 10th grade volleyball player, said. Being a high performance athlete requires a lot of discipline and comes with many responsibilities. To be able to participate in competitions, these athletes must go through an extensive mental and physical preparation to be at a good level, this preparation is very time consuming and leaves little time to relax or to comply with school work.

Many of these student athletes have to train from three to five hours a day, so keeping up with school becomes almost an impossible task. Because of this, many students choose to leave ordinary schools and enter virtual schools to be able to compete at the highest level and keep up with school. Even though this is an option, the reality many TCS students face is having to miss class in order to participate in tournaments, trainings and other activities their sports require and at the same time trying their best in school. So, how do they do this?

Learning Center

In high school called the Learning Center whose leader is Susana Arias. The Learning Center is a team that includes, Kevin Valentin, Jorge Vasquez and Susana. This team’s main goal is to assist and support students that are struggling in certain classes. This year, with the implementation of the high performance athletes program, the Learning Center has been focusing a lot in helping these athletes that have a hard time completing work at home. The Learning Center is a great option because it provides a one on one teaching experience which facilitates the learning.

X-Block

Teacher in TCS, are very comprehensive with this type of students and offers various times in the week where athletes can visit them in their free times to get extra help or to catch up. When there are students like this, it not only a challenge for the students, but also for the teachers. “With this students its very complex because in class we continue advancing but then they have to catch up and also do what we are doing in class,” Valentin said.

In TCS there is a great option to improve the communication between athletes and teachers and to give both of them time to either teach something or catch up. This option is the X – Block. The X – Block, was an idea implemented by administration and developed by Susana Arias. Every week there is a day where the schedule changes and students get an hour after the first two blocks where they get study hall or support form teachers. Some high performance athletes have problems with time management as they have to do many things every day so X – Block is something that could beneficiate them a lot if they use it in their favor.

Self Education

Self education, or also know as autodidactism is something student athletes in The Columbus School need to do when they repetitively miss class.

Sometimes when students leave for long periods of time, they get very behind in all classes so its impossible for them to attend to each class in office hours or X-Block to learn some of the things they missed. Because of this, students need to be autonomous enough to use the resources they have to learn class topics, for example Khan Academy which is a program either to learn or review math topics. Nowadays, everything can be found on the internet so that also a huge advantage. Simon Correa is an 11th grader who represents Colombia in golf and this is what he had to say about this, “When I miss a lot of time because of tournaments I have to investigate about some topics I missed the explanation. For example for the math topics I miss, I use Khan Academy or Youtube videos and that way I learn,” Simon Correa, 11th grade golfer said.

To Conclude…

Keeping up with school being an athlete is a huge challenge and compromise for students, still, they are not alone in this. The Columbus School teachers and administrators completely support this and offers various options for students to be caught up and learn such as Learning Center, X-Block, office hours, Khan Academy and others. “What we all try to do is to support the athletes by speeding up the catch ups and integrating all the work that these students have to do and improve communication,” said Kevin Valentin.

 

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How do TCS  High Performance Athletes Balance Sports and School