Today I took Ellen to school with me. I had warned Ellen ahead of time that she would be treated like a celebrity, but I think even she was surprised by the attention she received. What I loved the most was watching how Ellen handled the "stardom" with poise, warmth, and kindness. (We both agree that we are not used to or comfortable being so noticed) Ellen was bombarded with mobs of students, questions, hugs, and stares from shy but curious by-standers. She was snatched by my fellow colleagues to visit their classes and talk with their students. She had many students squeezing extra chairs in at the lunch table to say "Hello. What's Your Name? and How old are you?"
After lunch Ellen whispered in my ear, "And how many classes do we have left and are we finished at like 3:00 or 3:15?" (yes, she said "like") When she figured out that we still had 4 classes to go and school didn't end until 4:10, she muttered a soft "Oh no, I'm tired." But, she maintained a smile and kept talking to talk to as many students as she could. She joined in the remainder of classes, sang songs, helped me model conversation, participated in skits, and looked like a professional teacher.
It was very fun and helpful to have an assistant and a witness to some of the school differences I've mentioned in earlier posts.