Student Teaching on the Leap Day

A great day in the classroom equals a great Leap Day

So, as many know, there is something special about February this year. It only happens every four years and it is known as the Leap Day. Yes, this is the year of the extra day in February. Unlike April Fools Day, Christmas, Easter, Fat Tuesday, and many other holidays, Leap Day is not one of the most well-known holidays. In fact, some might argue that Leap Day is not a holiday at all, it is merely an observation. Another way to explain this whole holiday argument is to equate Leap Day to Albert Einstein’s birthday (which falls on March 14th, in case you did not know).

However, whether you consider Leap Day a “special day” or not, I found this day to be one of the best days of the year thus far.

It all began with the night of February 28, where I was sitting in my room grading assignments for my fifth grade class, in hopes I would hand it back to them the following day. Above my bed reads a Microsoft Word document cut into smaller size that reads, “Don’t you even think about giving up;” on February 28, I needed that small “sign” to be my biggest inspiration.

I was upset and discouraged, finding that this long night of grading was one of the defining events that I would take part in for the next twenty-plus years. Before I went to bed, I felt weary that my leap day lessons would not go well because I did not spend any time preparing, instead grading work and not even finishing.

The next morning I woke up extra early on accident. This gave me time to nearly complete all of the assignments I took back with me, thus reducing the amount of stress I would feel during the school day. Once I arrived to school an hour later, I immediately felt encouraged to begin the day and end strong. Lo and behold, my lessons did go well, yet I never thought what happened at the end of the day would actually come true.

When the students left the classroom for recess, my cooperating teacher wanted me to sit down so she could tell me how my lessons went. This happens everyday, so each time I sit down with my cooperating teacher, I expect her to tell me what I could work on. Instead she started with, “This may sound nerdy, but I really think that you blossomed as a teacher today.” These words were followed by several examples of how I proved myself and she concluded that “I showed I could manage the classroom and provide effective instruction to the students.”

I leapt for joy inside. Immediately, I knew this was the best student teaching day I have had so far. I felt confident, I felt enthusiastic, and simply loved being with the students. To put the cherry on top, I was complimented by a 10-year teacher who really knows her stuff.

These are the days I have been waiting for. I have always known that Spring Arbor University has prepared me to have effective days like these, and after six and a half weeks, I finally have a full day where I felt the most effective I could be. In part, the credit can and should go to my college that prepared me to have days such as these.

So, now I can tell myself that I can stand alongside other SAU students who have taken what they have learned on campus and applied it to their real-world situations, evidently coming out with an effective day. It makes me proud to be an SAU student, and I certainly hope it makes anyone else who is blessed to be a part of such a great community to feel the same.

Over and out,

Josh