As a teacher of young children, the chances of having children with special needs in your classroom is very likely. We know that with the proper support and collaboration, the benefits of inclusion extend to all parties involved... the child with special needs and her parents, the other children in the classroom and their parents, and you, their teacher.
Most of the time, we think of children with special needs as those who have some sort of disability... physical or developmental, perhaps. However, it is important that we think beyond this in order to make the most difference. Children with special needs come in many more varieties than that.
Consider this, for a moment... what about the child whose parents are going through a divorce or a child whose daddy is in Iraq or a child whose mommy just found out she has cancer. Or, how about the child who is gifted? Are these not children who have special needs?
Won't they need special care and some adaptations in the usual day-to-day in the classroom? If we intend to embrace all children, we must consider them individually to meet their needs... taking into consideration all the shades of "specialness."
Remember this when you go into your classroom tomorrow. It is a different perspective that will change the way you see children, teach them, and care for them.