A former music tutor turned-teacher at a school near Warwick is encouraging others to set their sights on the classroom.
Chris Ridgewell, who is a teacher at Claverdon Primary School, took the decision to leave his role as a private drum tutor in 2015 to search of a more rewarding career.
Chris is now supporting the national Get Into Teaching campaign, by recommending other people in the Warwick District to consider making the switch.
Expressions of interest from career changers in the West Midlands spiked in January 2017 with 1,098 registrants, according to figures from the Get Into Teaching campaign.
With over half a million (520,093) users, January 2017 was also the month when most traffic was recorded on the Get Into Teaching website – where prospective candidates can find out more about teaching as a career and access support all the way through the application process.
Chris said: “I’d always been intrigued by teaching and imagined it to be a very rewarding career.
“After nine years as a private drum tutor, my family circumstances were changing with two daughters about to start school and nursery.
“It marked a turning point in my life when I realised I needed a new challenge, and felt teaching could offer me this.
“The idea of switching my profession was nerve-wracking, especially leaving a business I’d worked hard to build, but it felt the right thing to do.
“I did my research, applied for the training, and haven’t looked back since.
“Teaching at my school in Warwick really makes me proud and brings daily rewards.
“For example, I really love being able to take a child who previously struggled with an area of learning, work with parents to provide insight and support, and watch them grow in confidence and ability.
“I also find it really rewarding working with an excellent and supportive team and love the challenge that every day of teaching brings - no day is exactly the same, no child has the exact same needs.
“I definitely made the right decision to change my career and would advise any other professionals who might be considering it to take the time to think about teaching this new year.”
Get Into Teaching is offering support to help bridge the gap for candidates considering teaching as one of their New Year resolutions.
This includes a series of events, opportunities to get some classroom experience and tailored advice from teaching experts to help people through the application process.
Roger Pope, spokesperson for the Get Into Teaching campaign and Chair of the National College for Teaching and Leadership, said: “Many of us will be making resolutions for 2018 - in fact we know from YouGov data that 15 per cent of us will make one of those goals related to a career ambition.
“We also know that people take time over the Christmas holidays to think about what their day job means to them, and what they might be more motivated to do.
“That’s where teaching comes into its own - whether you’re driven by the rational or emotional, teaching really is unique. Every day you have the chance to change someone’s life. It’s such a meaningful role where you can go home at the end of every day feeling proud of what you’ve achieved.
“We know some career changers in the West Midlands take the plunge in January by deciding to take their skills into the classroom, whilst others might mull over on this important decision a little longer. It’s why we are running a series of events throughout the Spring term where people can find out about life in the classroom, the progression opportunities, competitive salaries and bursaries to help financially whilst you train.
“Anyone contemplating teaching should visit the Get Into Teaching website to find out more and register their interest.”
A series of online and Train to Teach roadshow events are starting this month. To find out more go to: https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/teaching-events