Change of Teacher Day 2021: The Tradition Continues Pandemic Style


Courtesy of Lakeland Yearbook

Angela Trozzo spending her day with Ms. Rossnagel.

For many years at Lakeland Regional High School, Change of Teacher Day has been a beloved tradition. If you don’t know, Change of Teacher Day is a day where seniors get to dress up as their favorite teachers and shadow them for the day. This year, there were worries about whether or not this day would be able to happen due to COVID-19. However, thanks to the hard work of the National Honor Society, the tradition was able to continue, with just a few more precautions. 

Change of Teacher Day occurred on April 29, 2021 for the Red cohort and April 30 for the Gray cohort. Students were issued to stay with their assigned teachers all day, and still practiced the usual social distancing and mask regulations. The traditional Change of Teacher Day lunch could not happen, but the NHS delivered prepackaged Dunkin’ Donuts munchkins to all students and teachers participating in the special event.

Echegaray shadowed Ms. Hess for the day.  (Courtesy of Lakeland Yearbook)

The Lancer Ledger wanted to reach out to a few seniors to see what their feelings were about Change of Teacher Day this year. When talking to senior, Emily Rose, she said, “Change of Teacher Day was so much fun. I really enjoyed getting to move through a different schedule and visit parts of the school that I haven’t been to in a long time.” Senior, Angela Trozzo, said “Change of Teacher Day was fun! I got to spend the whole day with Ms. (Susan) Rossnagel.”

When it comes to picking the teacher you want to shadow, a lot of consideration takes place. Most seniors consider things like, what teachers they have bonds with, what teacher would be best to learn with for their plans after college, or just what teacher they think they’ll have the most fun with. Rose told The Ledger, “I chose to change with Ms. (Kali) Spoelstra because I felt like we get along really well, and I’m majoring in communications, so I thought that teaching her journalism class would be beneficial.”

To give a personal anecdote, I, senior Emily Sebilia, picked Ms. (Keri) Ecker because she has been one of my favorite teachers since I had her for class during my freshman year. I asked her sophomore year if I could be her for Change of Teacher Day, and I’m so happy it was able to happen. Senior, Vania Echegaray, said, “I chose Ms. (Donna) Hess because she was the first teacher to notice and help me both academically and with any personal issues I was having. She was always there for me when I needed someone to talk to.” 

Rose assisted Ms. Spoelstra in teaching her English and Journalism classes. (Courtesy of Lakeland Yearbook)

Change of Teacher Day is a learning experience for everyone; the teachers, the students participating, and even the students in the classroom. Rose said she learned that freshmen are usually pretty quiet, after teaching English I with Ms. Spoelstra. Trozzo explained, “I learned how to balance teaching virtually and in person at the same time.” Echegaray stated that she learned how it is to be a math teacher, and how it would work. 

While the class of 2021 is soon to be moving on, this tradition will continue. While being interviewed, Rose exclaimed, “If you’re interested in Change of Teacher Day, please do it! I had an awesome time, and it’s a great thing to participate in senior traditions.” Echegaray said that she would definitely tell underclassmen to participate when it’s their senior year, as it was a really fun experience. Trozzo said that she would definitely tell underclassmen to do it, as spending a day with your favorite teacher is more fun than you realize, especially if you enjoy the subject. 

A big thank you goes out to the NHS for all their hard work to make this event able to happen even during such troubling times, and all the teachers who participate every year, making great memories for seniors. Change of Teacher Day is a wonderful experience for teachers and students, and thankfully another wonderful year was able to pass by. 

Sebilia, your author, spent the day with Ms. Ecker, a favorite teacher of hers since being an underclassman. (Courtesy of Lakeland Yearbook)