Mon, 1 Nov 2004
It shouldn't happen to a vet, they said. But it happened to Chris Wilkins - the Norfolk vet who swapped a career with difficult creatures for a career with, err, wonderful pupils - and never looked back.
"It was time for a change," said Chris, who completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at the University of East Anglia this year. "It's hard work but really enjoyable."
After working as a vet based in Harleston for 20 years, the 48-year-old has just started teaching biology at Deben High School in Felixstowe.
The School of Education at UEA is looking for more people like Chris and is holding a Secondary Teaching Open Evening on November 10 to help people who are thinking of switching careers.
"We are increasingly recruiting more mature people, like Chris, who have taken the plunge and are making a career change," said Sue Cramp, Secondary PGCE course director.
"They make great teachers and we would strongly encourage people who are enthusiastic about their subject to consider teaching as their career choice. They will find that the profession offers considerable emotional and financial rewards."
Charlotte Belshaw, 29, enrolled on the PGCE at UEA after a career as a food research scientist.
"I'd thought about teaching for a long time and wanted to see if it was for me. I'm a people person really and as a research scientist you can spend all day in the lab without seeing anyone."
Charlotte is now teaching biology at Sir John Leman High School in Beccles and loves it.
"Every day there's something that puts a smile on your face. It's hard work but very rewarding and there's the satisfaction of knowing you've influenced children's lives," she said.
The Secondary Teaching Open Evening (for September 2005 entry) will be held on Wednesday November 10 from 6-8pm at UEA's School of Education and Lifelong Learning.
It is aimed at people considering training to teach children in the secondary school age range. Subjects offered at this level are biology, chemistry, physics, English, geography, history, leisure & tourism, mathematics, modern foreign languages, physical education and religious education.
UEA is one of the top teacher training institutions in the UK. The Secondary PGCE course has been developed in close partnership with schools across Norfolk and Suffolk and trainees spend 24 weeks of the 36-week course in the classroom.