everything i need to know i learned in special ed


Always take other’s concerns seriously.

Visiting day. I arrived in their classroom as they finished up their breakfast snack and tucked myself into a preschool chair next to four year old S, my knees tight up against the bottom of the table.

We stuck up a conversation and after diligently showing me his crackers and apple slices, he proceeded to demonstrate putting his snack box into his backpack with all of the pride of a first back handspring. (When your hands are that small, zippers are quite the achievement.) “Look!”

With a small gasp, I put my hand to my heart and spoke in a hushed tone: “Darth Vader!”

“Don’t worry,” he said, one hand on the zipper, one stretched out to reassure me, eyes serious. “He’s not real.”

I felt much better.