Several years ago, when I took the “T” (Boston’s subway system) on a crowded afternoon, I saw the token guy standing near the turn style with a basket. He said, in a rather loud and friendly voice,

“If you have exact change, put it in here. Don’t give it to me or I’ll go to jail. I you have exact change, put it in here. Don’t give it to me or I’ll go to jail. If you have exact change, put it in here……”

Wow. What excellent in-service training.

His job was to help the public. He did.

His job was to move people quickly. He did.

His job was not to take the public’s money in the wrong way. He did.

And he added a lovely twist–humor! Going beyond his job and lightening the spirit of those who heard him.

I, for one, have not forgotten that mantra, “If you have exact change, put it in here. Don’t give it to me or I’ll go to jail.”

About Miriam

Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, JD, MA—an expert in public education, focused on special education law— is a lawyer, author, speaker, consultant, and reformer. For more than 35 years, Miriam worked with educators, parents, policy makers, and citizens to translate complex legalese into plain English and focus on good practices for children. Now, she focuses her passion on reforming special education, with her new book, Special Education 2.0—Breaking Taboos to Build a NEW Education Law. Presentations include those at the AASA Conference, Orange County (CA), Boston College (MA), CADRE (OR), and the Fordham Institute (DC). Her writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Education Week, Education Next, Hoover Digest, The University of Chicago Law Review on line, DianeRavitch.net, and The Atlantic Monthly on line.

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