Just as I started class, AJ made it known that she wanted to sit with the students. Today we mostly talked about their final project, so I started out by handing out a paper with a description of it. I checked in to make sure everyone had one.
AJ: (in a little voice) mommy?
Me: you want one too, don't you?
The students start working on a free write about the assignment; AJ starts working on underlining words and drawing little pictures on the assignment description paper I handed her.
After 10 minutes I ask them to stop and work in groups of 2 or 3 to talk about the challenges they had thinking about what to write and questions they had about the assignment or expectations.
AJ: momma, I'm going to go around.
Me: you mean walk around? Okay but don't disturb the students.
AJ: no, around. (As she goes around the table and plants herself in an empty seat between two students.)
Me: oh! Are you wanting to work in a group too?
At this point, the students are nodding encouragingly as they make room for her paper and introduce themselves to her. I think if I had protested I would have been out voted so I just nodded my head and checked up on them to make sure they were making progress.
I overhear at one point.
AJ: I didn't even read the paper (giggle, giggle). I just started working on it.
Nice, AJ. Way to demonstrate good student habits. Heh.
We came back as a class to talk about the assignment and I clarified any questions they had. At some point I started drawing examples of what their personal models of leadership might look like. AJ came up to the board and drew her own models and proudly announced the fact to the entire class which elicited more "awws" from the class.
When class was over most of the students made sure to say goodbye to their new little peer who was feeling on top of the world by this point.
Frankly the entire experience was flipping adorable. Although I fear it has given AJ ammunition for her argument that she should be allowed to come to every class. Heh.