First and foremost, which children are the same in our classrooms? What I've noticed is that all children in the classroom are extremely different. Sure, with some students I can do a visual, lecture, kinesthetic lesson and they'll understand no matter what. But in no way are those students the same as each other. I see every students as being different in the classroom and therefore providing a wealth of knowledge for an observant teacher. Some students are motivated when the lesson is about cars, or Paris Hilton, or civil rights. Some students are more tuned-in when the lesson is visual, involves group work, or is an individual project. I think we have to be careful in singling out a particularly "different" student.
That said, there is much to learn from the differences in our students. The best thing that can come from paying attention to student differences is improving overall instruction. I once taught a group of 30 students, half who were deaf and half who could hear perfectly. I had to slow down what I was saying so that the interpreter could pass on information to the deaf students. I learned patience and pacing from this lesson. When I was forced to slow down and think about what I wanted to say, my words became more informed and well thought out. Also, I had to really concentrate on using inclusive language. Some phrases could be very offensive to deaf students or deaf culture. At the same time, some deaf students did not want their "deafness" to be mentioned at all, out of desire to feel "normal". While all this was taking place, I had to remember to pay equal amounts of attention to my well-hearing students. I could not focus all my instruction and intentions on the deaf students, because they were only half the class. On top of all this, I also had to create opportunities for the two different cultures to learn from each other and see similarities/differences in a healthy way.
Every classroom has students who share similarities on some things, but drastic differences on others. As an observant teacher, we have the opportunity to learn a great deal from this knowledge. We learn how to create a classroom that honors, celebrates, and addresses multiple intelligences. We learn to create a classroom where everyone feels respected, included, and appreciated. And finally, we are presented with the opportunity to build peace and solidarity across cultures and differences, as observant, thoughtful teachers.