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Hard to believe the instructor is requiring this without supplying a copy. It has been many years since you could buy it off the shelf. Came out May 11, 2005 I believe. You didn’t mention if you could use upgrade or needed full retail.
You might try Ebay, start here: http://tinyurl.com/z9lq9 this is a search showing 742 XP professional listings.
I need it for SANS Security Essentials 401. After reading the requirements again it appears that I can use SP1, but I am still in the same predicament. I have run into multiple problems. The laptop I have access to has a SATA hard drive, so I have to create a slipstreamed disk with drivers. Also, because the laptop is fully patched I have to use a bootable disk which allows for over writing of a more current version of XP. Those are just the Window issues I have to cover before getting into Knoppix STD. I already have proper licensing so I really do not want to buy another.