It has recently been announced that Heathfield Community College will soon, for the second time, have the pleasure of being visited by inspirational speaker, Action Jackson. As a member of Fix Up Team, a company dedicated to inspiring and flaring up ambition in students, Action Jackson visited year 10 (now year 11) towards the end of last year to put some positivity into students and prepare them for the most important school year of their life through talks on success and failure; he etched into their heads the motto ‘try, fail repeat’ and emphasised the importance of learning from your mistakes. The students loved it and are happy that he will soon be returning to the College.

I spoke to teacher Jackie Gully who expressed her own feelings on the inspirational speaker and the importance of driving motivation into students. She said how she found the talk ‘really powerful’ and it had ‘phenomenal impacts on students’.

Action Jackson was hugely liked by all students and the majority of his audience added him on Snapchat to experience more of the outgoing, positive and stimulating atmosphere he created. However, he is not the only speaker the school has had in. Previously, year 11 have been joined by Mr Beezy, also a member of Fix up Team, who also encouraged students by telling them they are born winners and that although they may not always be able to see how close they are to success, they will never know just how close they are if they give up. At this point students were struggling with new changes and adjustments around the college as well as coping with exam stress. Mr Beezy managed to get students to open up and really stimulated their emotions, spurring determination in addition to self-love. Mrs Gully even admitted to me how ‘he even made me cry’. The fact that this man not only touched the feelings of students but teachers too shows just how powerful positive words can be.

In an age where students are performing at their very best in all of history and there is increasing pressure on them to do well, the importance of connecting with them on an emotional level could not hold more importance. In order for pupils to be successful and achieve their potential it is vital that they’re mentally in the right place. Especially as a teenager, this isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Consequently, students profit immensely from time out of lessons and academic activities to delve into their thoughts and mould their motivation.

The best thing about the talks is that once the hour is over and done with, everything stays with you. Mrs Gully told me how it ‘gives you things you can go away and work with’. Students were made to rethink their attitudes as well as acknowledge their self-importance thus boosting their self-esteem.

It has not been revealed completely what Action Jackson’s next visit will encompass but Mrs Gully told me he will be performing workshops with students. These will involve confidence building, dealing with exam stress and many more practical topics to help and inspire. Particularly as year 11s get closer to the exam period, students and teachers alike will be burdened with stress and tension so it helps significantly to have an outsider in school to spread calmness.

Motivational speakers help students look at the bigger picture and provide a stress-free atmosphere for them to open up in. The benefits are innumerable. If Action Jackson manages to motivate students as much as he has done in the past, then their achievements are limitless. 

Georgina Sharma

Heathfield Community College