Leaving school for sports interrupts learning

Athletes must balance sports and school

Hannah Leff

When Spanish teacher Jane Hudacek is interrupted during her seventh hour class by students leaving class for sports, she feels frustrated.

Hudacek said it’s hard for teachers to make sure student athletes are learning what they are supposed to.

“It’s discombobulating for the teacher as much as it is for the student, if not more. It’s hard for the teacher to keep track of all the different students, when they left, at what point they left, what they missed,” Hudacek said.

Cross country, nordic and track athlete Kate Brinkman said it’s hard for athletes to be pulled out of class.

“It can be stressful to miss class, but I’ve gotten better at thinking ahead of time and talking to teachers,” Brinkman said.

According to Hudacek, sports not only affect the academics of athletes but also the students who don’t participate in sports.

“It’s disruptive for both the students who have to leave and the ones who stay. Students who stay now suddenly are without their partner. It can be really disruptive because the athletes are leaving at different times, interrupting class multiple times,” Hudacek said.

Girls’ varsity soccer head coach Benjy Kent said while it may be difficult to juggle sports and school, it’s important to participate in activities outside school.

“I am not in favor of students missing class on a regular basis for sports; school (comes) first. However, athletics is a big investment and an important part of the co-curricular experience,” Kent said.

Brinkman said she misses a couple classes a week but works hard to catch up.

“I let my teacher know I won’t be in class ahead of time. Usually they let me know what I’m going to miss,” Brinkman said. “I do the work on my own and then ask any questions I have the next day.”

According to Hudacek, there needs to be understanding from both students and teachers.

“Teachers need to be understanding of students who play sports, but at the same time students need to understand that is can be stressful for teachers to keep track of everything,” Hudacek said.

Brinkman said although it’s hard to balance school and sports, the experience is worth it.

“It’s good to get involved outside of school. It keeps you active and you also meet new people and become a part of a community,” Brinkman said.