“Summer’s coming, but it’s not here yet.”

I often say this to my students as they start to feel the end of the school year approaching. The weather is finally warm. The pull of recess is strong. The end is in sight.

Every school year, at some point during the last term, I personally (at home) like to watch the “hold” clip from the movie “Braveheart.” It is a strong visual reminder to stand firm and hold it all together until the very end of the year. When the spring fever and the temptation to let up on discipline, hard work, and the push to the finish line hit, I watch this clip.

Why? To stay strong because everything in me is screaming, “It’s almost the end of the year— relax, chill, coast.”

When the beautiful weather calls me to stay longer outside and the bluebonnets beckon me to linger, I must respond with: “Hold. Hold!”

I see Mel Gibson’s blue-painted face and I hear the bagpipes playing in the background as I feel the fast-approaching troops. I hear the horse hoofbeats all in tempo galloping forward. Weapons are held high, and the warriors stand steely-faced and steady as the hoofbeats reverberate louder and the lances drop into a forward position. I hear Mel speak the word “steady” and then repeat loudly and firmly, “Hold, hold, HOLD.”

I see the sideways glances of men questioning their leader while awaiting the new command. Then, just as imminent doom approaches, the new command is given. One word, one new word … NOW.

The weapons are finally raised at the critical moment. Timing is everything. Patience is paramount. Holding on is essential.

And then there’s the coaching metaphor.

With 0.8 seconds left on the clock and the other team 18 points ahead, a comeback is impossible. Six three-pointers cannot happen in less than one second. And yet … the coach of the team that’s behind is still coaching. Still calling timeouts. Still showing plays on the whiteboard. Still strategizing. Still planning. Still encouraging. Still coaching.

Why? The game is over.

The game is over, but THE GAME isn’t over.

There’s work to do. Things to learn. Momentum to gain. Preparation for the next time. The next game, if you will, in the series of life.

So, back to school. The pull is hard. The weather is beautiful. Outside is calling your name. Sometimes, literally, by your friends outside the classroom window.

But, there’s work to be done.

Books to read.

Projects to complete.

Speeches to give.

Science creatures to investigate.

Habits to continue.

Lessons to learn.

Songs to sing and poems to chant.

Sweet times to enjoy with friends at lunch and recess.

Math concepts to master and timelines to remember.

Stories of heroes to hear and Bible truths to ponder.

Summer’s coming, but it’s not here yet.

Hold, hold, HOLD.

by Stephanie Boss, CCS 5th Grade Teacher