STUDENTS were asked to look back at the 16,000 hours of school so far as they plan their futures in the run up to impending exams.
Motivational speaker and self-help author Lee Jackson addressed Year 11 and Year 13 students at The Wensleydale School & Sixth Form as they prepare to sit GCSEs and A Levels.
Billingham-born and now based in Leeds, Mr Jackson will become president of the Professional Speaking Association in the UK and Ireland in October.
An award winning teenage DJ and a youth worker, he has been speaking to audiences of all sizes for the past eight years as a motivational speaker in business and education.
He told students: “You gave been at school for 195 days a year. So if you are in Year 11 you will have studied for more than 15,000 hours and Year 13 for more than 16,000.
“That makes you experts in education. The fact you are still here means you have the ability to do it. Up to this point you have taken many exams so you know you can do them.”
He spoke of the common factors shared by the world’s most successful people, such as multi-gold medal winning US swimmer Michael Phelps, Walt Disney, KFC founder Colonel Sanders and U2’s Bono.
They had all worked hard, felt passionately about their enterprise, focused at the right time, overcome adversity and setback and become good at what they do.
“Ding is the noise your brain hears when you learn something new,” he said. “But learning only ever takes place when you put it into practice.
“Every second counts and there is not enough time in the day to study and spend five hours on-line and on social media. Find the off button on your phone. Without switching off the distractions your brain will never take anything in.
“Write down your ideas or you will forget them and it is the little steps that make a difference. Behave well in lessons and encourage you friends. Keep going as you are approaching the final hurdle and you will be able to enjoy the long holidays ahead.”
He said teachers had directed and plotted their progress from the moment they arrived at school and made sure they were on target.
“Aim not just to reach your goals but to smash your predicted grades,” he said.
The Wensleydale School & Sixth Form deputy head teacher Andrew Wilkinson said: “Your teachers really do care; it is why they went into teaching. We strive to get you to this point, the point where you can start to live your dreams.”