When I taught K-12 students there were always standards I was expected to teach. Students were expected to know certain information by the end of the year and, depending on their grade level, might receive a state-based assessment on their content knowledge.

Every year, my students always started behind the curve. We were never on the right part of the unit. We were always several steps behind the rest of the classes in our grade.

But it made sense. See, I spent the first couple months of the school year focused more on procedures and protocols. I spent time teaching the process of learning and assessed that as opposed to their knowledge. Instead, we worked with students’ prior knowledge and built on that. We didn’t use the pace chart initially and did what we could to make our lessons applicable to real life.

But by November, something magical would happen. Students would be so familiar with the process of learning that they were able self-correct. Using their prior knowledge and personal experiences they could draw more from the texts and retain information with deeper, richer meaning.

By April, my students were always ahead on the pace chart. And eventually, we were off the pace chart altogether, working on applied science projects.

A call from Tito, my husband and baby’s father – for those unfamiliar, got me thinking about my students again. And it got me thinking about this classroom we call Life. what about the late bloomers in Life? The ones (like me) still trying to pull up out of the mud and prevail? The ones chasing their dreams and holding on for the ride as they try to understand when this road they’re on went under construction. I got to thinking, what’s so different about my classroom and the classroom of Life?

Every classroom has a few unruly students, but with the right support, discipline, consistency and protocols they ultimately fall in line and get with the program.

Well, those of us struggling are like those unruly students. God is showing us what we need to do. All those trials tribulations and hardships; all those issues we can’t seem to escape, God is giving you an opportunity to learn from them. He’s showing you – even in the midst of the situation – how to remedy it and come out (but you’ve got to be paying attention). If you’re too busy focused on something else while He’s breaking down the steps, you’re going to miss the lesson.

But, if you stay focused, stay open and stay determined you’ll learn what steps you need to take to move past these circumstances. The repetition of these incidents will inform you. They will instill in you a sense of determination and a will to change. They will also become so second nature that making the change will be easily done.

So, if you’re a late bloomer, don’t fret. Stop. Look. Listen. Pay attention to the lesson. I have a feeling you’ll be among the students who finish first (and best in their class).

Good luck and Namaste.