Written By Lindsay Csogi, (Teacher, Sarasota County Schools, F.L., M.A. Reading and Language Arts, M.A. Educational Leadership)

At the beginning of each school year I introduce the term “In It To Win It” to my students. I explain that in order to “Win It” you have to have a positive attitude, put in maximum effort, and be able to execute or apply learned tasks. Students often asked me what the “It” is in “In It To Win It.” In other words, they want to know what they are going to win by having to learn. Well, the “It” is anything you have to persevere to overcome. What exactly is perseverance? I mean, what does it really mean? According to pretty much any dictionary, perseverance is “continuing in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success.” In our lives this could be a difficult science test, a speech, a ballgame, a tournament, a civics exam, a disability, or an illness. ANYTHING you have to work hard to overcome.

You see… It’s about the fight, the struggle, and the ability to rise above it in order to move beyond it. It is about finding the things that you can find comfort in and using them to become stronger. Whether it be God, meditation, travel, sports, or books; find what helps to keep you going. Perseverance is about learning through trial and error and taking criticism, along with compliments, to become a humble and honest person capable of trusting, feeling, and growing. Take your struggle as an opportunity to grow the good, let go of the guilt, and squash the poisonous mushrooms around you. Take your struggle as a challenge!

Of course there are days when you have to put your head down, when you feel distracted or disappointed with yourself. Just remember that during those times… you can do it! So get up, do the In It To Win It dance, and keep it moving. Nobody in this life is entitled to anything. So be the growth you want to see in yourself, become the person you want to be, and always be “In It To Win It!”