After losing his father to cancer and reassessing his own life, little did Christopher know that his next step would lead him to live and work abroad with the possibility of studying to the highest level.
Christopher King, 35, who now teaches at a private school in Shanghai, began his working life with various office roles in Cornwall and Ireland.
“When I returned to Cornwall I carried on working in office work and it took the death of my father for me to think about retraining,” Christopher explained.
In 2014 after much soul and internet searching Christopher, who grew up in Camborne, decided to start his mature student life by studying a Foundation degree in Early Childhood Studies at Cornwall College Saltash.
“Choosing to retrain and become a mature student was a big step, with the flexibility and design of the initial course, it suited my previous working life and I studied full-time alongside it,” he added.
The popular job website Jobsite.co.uk suggests that adult retraining is “more acceptable than ever and the prospect of feeling alive in the morning, with consequent benefits to your health, lifestyle and relationships, is an enticing one.”
Making the decision to retrain is huge commitment for anyone and Christopher leapt into it with both feet. After completing his foundation degree he then went on to study BA (Hons) Education Curriculum Studies at St Austell and Post Graduate Certificate in Education at Duchy College Rosewarne.
Having self confidence in a decision where the future is unknown and to leave the security of a paid job can be tough. Christopher explained; “It was scary to leave my work and focus on full time learning, not only due to the change of income but over coming what I thought to be impressions of studying later in life at university. The progress and transition was helped through with support from staff, without their support I would not be in Shanghai today!”
Since August this year, two months after completing his course, Christopher now teaches eight to ten year old students at a private, fee-paying school called Shanghai Taiwanese Children School. “The requirements of a teacher in Asia are massive, and the pressure from parents is endless, this only, in turn, drives me to make sure the children exceed.”
However, for the demanding role it is Christopher explains that the perks are amazing with return flights to London paid for twice a year, fully paid holidays to Phuket, Taipei, high rates of pay, an annual bonus, the list goes on.
Christopher urges others to look at their career and said “I am so glad I made my career change, taking the courses have enabled me to work in a profession that I have always wanted. Moreover, my contract is two years with the school but I have already been offered an extension beyond this point.”
Mark Delf, Head of School of Education and Professional Development (SEPD) said; “It’s never too late to change career paths, countless people change careers at any time in their lives in today’s society and some say retrain and not retire. We offer a range of university courses at Duchy College Rosewarne, to help individuals get into the teaching and education industry. We offer options to study part time or full time in most of these so it offers flexibility to work around jobs and families.”
There are ten university courses available at Duchy College Rosewarne, as well as qualifications in teaching, students can also study counselling, social sciences, childcare and veterinary nursing. For more information on the range of courses available across The Cornwall College Group visit www.duchy.ac.uk or call 0845 60 50 455.