LOOKING for a more rewarding career or are simply looking for a new challenge? Then why not try teaching.

Residents who are seeking a more challenging career for the new year are being encouraged to find out more about getting into teaching.

To help high-quality career changers and graduates explore whether it is right for them, the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) has planned a number of events and work shops.

One person who recently made the switch to teaching is Melanie Muldowney, a maths teacher at Trinity High School, who used to work as a director of operations for an electrical business.

Before that she pursued a number of other career paths including working for an electrical contractor and pub landlady.

She advised anyone considering a career in teaching to go for it.

“I am most passionate about making a positive difference to students and giving people opportunities and chances in life they might not otherwise have," she said.

"In particular, I enjoy teaching students how to apply maths in real life – it’s so important they understand a good grounding in maths will help them in later life.

“Since embarking on teaching, I have taken on additional responsibilities such as whole school one-to-one coordinator and am also now second in department.

"The support I have received from my peers, and being able to transfer skills and knowledge from my previous careers has greatly helped me in getting to grips with teaching and settling into a school environment."

She added: "Teaching is extremely rewarding and the sense of fulfilment you get when your students have enjoyed your lesson and have taken something away from it, you won’t get in any other job.”

Charlie Taylor, chief executive of NCTL, said: “New Year is traditionally a time when people consider switching career and we are encouraging more top graduates who are looking for a more rewarding career, or are simply looking for a new challenge, to consider teaching.

"It is important that excellent professionals already in the workplace realise that teaching is not the sole preserve of new graduates – in fact, some of our best teachers started out their working life in other fields."

There are a number of routes into teaching including university-based courses and School Direct, which has places available in local first and middle schools.

Incentives include a salary for graduates with three or more years’ work experience, who can apply for the employment-based School Direct (salaried) route.

All other graduates can apply for the School Direct fee-based programme or university-based teacher training - well qualified candidates could be eligible for a tax-free bursary of up to £20,000 or a scholarship of up to £25,000.

For more information or a list of upcoming events, visit