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Musings of a Millennial MEd: Student Teaching Eve

It’s Student Teaching Eve, a time far more terrifying than All Hallow’s Eve could ever dream to be. I am the General of fake it till you make it, the Princess Leia for the galaxy of nerve and pluckiness. I do not fear EDTPA, for I have been drilled relentlessly by my lovely professors, and it’s honestly mostly a test of precision and direction following. I can do that. I have a bullet journal and colored pens. Julia, my best friend, who is too kindhearted and pure for this sinful world, will probably make me a spreadsheet and regularly check in on me. My significant other, who is on the same righteous caliber of adorable, will send me Baby Yoda memes to cheer me on as I take on the mother of all unpaid internships.   

Currently, I am on the tail-end of my master’s degree in education. This is my last true quarter taking classes at DePaul. I am finishing a literature review that I highly doubt, and cynically repeat, will be read by anyone, not even the professor himself. If the papers are at least 10 pages each, and we have about 30 students who must write a minimum of 10 pages with citations… 

I’m well aware I write too many essays about this, and by now you’d think I’d run out of things to say about it all, but one of the most significantly integral years of my psyche was probably my sixteenth year. I gained my greatest confidant and fiercest cheerleader, and lost her, for what I thought was for eternity, before the year’s end. My junior year AP English teacher was my favorite person when I was sixteen, like the Miss Honey to my Matilda, and she lost a fierce fight to a very rare disease. Right when I thought I was not wholly alone in the universe, there I was, being dragged out by a social worker, because in learning the news that I was alone and she was gone, I was too hysterically combative to be in class. Who was I supposed to eat lunch with now? Who was I supposed to talk to, and what was I supposed to do with myself? Within another year’s time, I was soothed by the fact that I had been accepted to her alma mater to pursue an accelerated, combined degree program, so that I could become a professional teacher lady, too. Our degrees compliment each other like a pair of friendship bracelets; her bachelor’s was in education and master’s in English literature, while I have a BA in English and MEd in Secondary Education. Eventually, the universe would balance itself out a little bit more; I became a writing tutor for a small cohort of first generation college students whose immense capacity for humor, poise, and radiance has captured my entire heart (my first tutoring job was at 16, working with English Language Learners at my high school at the direction of this beloved teacher, and with this I could “have my job back”). 

But even tonight, days before I start student teaching, years after I finished being sixteen, it still kills me that I cannot tell her all about my day over a cup of yogurt in our high school’s literacy resource center anymore. It kills me that I never ran out of things to say to her, and that she’s the only voice of logic or advice I would want to hear right now, on this Student Teaching Eve. 


Beige And Black Chair In Front Of White Desk
Pixabay / Pexels

Marta Leshyk

DePaul '20

Aspiring high school English teacher who hopes to help students learn to love and value themselves the way an old friend once helped her. Loves cats immensely, and enjoys iced coffee in the dead of winter. Is the proud daughter of immigrants, and learned English from Elmo, the ultimate PBS scholar. 
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