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A friend of mine, retired teacher/principal/superintendent Terry Adams, recently wrote this:

“I think this is the most beautiful fall I have ever experienced. The colors are still beautiful if a bit muted, and leaves are falling everywhere. The cattle herd settled under a huge oak tree and the cows were covered with leaves (a sure sign that fall is coming to an end).

“It seems that everything is beautiful in its own time. The peach trees are bare now, but in the spring when they flower, just before the frost kills the buds, they are at their best. The autumn blaze maple trees were at their peak a couple of weeks ago but today they look a little sad and adjusting to the concept that winter is coming. The burning bushes just keep getting more attractive. All the plants have plenty to offer, they just give you their best at different times and in different ways.

“People, it seems to me, are much the same way. As a young school administrator, a very wise experienced special education teacher told me that the special children learn just as well, it just takes them longer. When you pop popcorn, the temperature is the same for all the kernels but they tend to pop at different times. We would do well to accept that and try our best to help all children learn as much as possible in their own time. Some are lucky and seem to be able to do everything well. Some have special gifts in music or sports, or can build works of art in wood working classes. It is our responsibility to help all children and appreciate what they have to offer. Just like the trees, they are all beautiful in their own way and in their own time.”