School has started again for me and as I am preparing for my students, I keep thinking about all the similarities between triathlon and the teaching profession. For example, in both cases skill level is assessed and a plan is designed to advance to a higher level of skill. Along the way more assessments are made to make sure that the plan is working.
As there is bio-individuality in athletes, there are different learning styles and background knowledge that make different people respond at different rates to training. Just like the athlete may try a wide variety of training foods until the idea combination is found, a teacher must try many approaches with students until they are successful.
All athletes cannot win first place at every race. Neither will all students make straight A's or understand a concept quickly and easily. But that does not mean that the effort of the competitor or student are worth any less, usually they work harder and should be honored for their achievements.