Top Marks For This Assistant Head Teacher

2017 04 Exam group 2 cropWith so many student success stories at Richdales, it’s hard to choose which ones to share in our newsletters. But every month there’s that one journey that shines through and strikes an extra chord; and this time it’s that of assistant head teacher, Joe Napoleon.

Joe is an incredible example of how anyone can excel at their studies – even during the throes of an incredibly busy lifestyle. Working a highly pressured full-time job, and being a first-time dad to a two-year old at the time, spare time wasn’t exactly on Joe’s side when he enrolled on our massage course. With his wife also juggling a full-time teaching job and his poorly father relying on him for daily care, Joe knew that studying would see him facing the kind of balancing act that would cause many people to tumble. Yet he not only passed his examinations, he achieved a Merit!

You can listen to the interview or read the interview below.


Speaking about his incredible accomplishment, Joe told us:

“You have to be prepared to work hard. I think if you have that growth mindset, and the right attitude before starting (and accept that actually there is a lot of work to get through but it’s going to be exciting, it’s going to be new, its going to be enjoyable and thorough), you will enjoy the course.”

We couldn’t have put it better ourselves!

And Joe’s unwavering attitude has certainly paid off!  Just eight weeks after completing the course, he already has eight regular massage clients who he treats straight after his working hours. Already Joe is making a good supplementary income which goes a long way with helping to pay for his daughter’s nursery fees.

So what prompted a successful teacher to go back into education and learn a completely new skill?

Having a sports background, Joe had always had an interest in sports science and holistic therapy. But, as it does for many people, life “got in the way” and Joe never got round to pursuing his interest at a higher level.  But when Joe began to experience back and neck pain himself, an old spark for holistic treatment was reignited.

“A teacher is a highly pressured job most of the time and that comes with ailments,” He told us.

“I developed neck and back pain which would heighten and enhance during periods of stress.”

When Joe was referred to an osteopath for his ailments, and he began to notice the benefits of the treatment, he realised that he wanted to help people in a similar way. And of course, he chose to study at Richdales!

But we were by no means the only training provider Joe looked at. In fact, the assistant head teacher conducted a whole year’s worth of research before deciding where to study! And interestingly, it was the length of our massage course that initially attracted Joe to Richdales. Although he could have completed other massage courses in a much shorter space of time, Joe knew that having sufficient time to learn the material is absolutely essential for gaining comprehensive knowledge.

“Learning about anatomy and physiology at a level which may be very new to you requires a lot of study and a lot of organisation,” Joe told us when recalling his decision to study through Richdales.

Joe also went on to say; “[Richdales] are 100% dedicated to helping you become the best therapist that you can be. That requires time again; it requires patience and it requires both parties involved to get that commitment.”

He’s absolutely right! The human body is a machine far too complex to learn about on a “crash course”. Our courses are specifically designed to maximise your learning outcomes and to enable you to build a long and reputable career.  It may be tempting for some of you to take a shorter course. But the reason you study massage therapy is not just to “get through” your examinations and gain a qualification; it’s to achieve a deep understanding of the human body and massage treatment and to be able to offer your skills to be help people. This doesn’t happen overnight. And of course, massage clients know this. Who would you trust more to treat you? A therapist who has whizzed through a weekend course or a therapist who has had sufficient time to gain a comprehensive understanding of your ailments and the best course of action to help you?

As Joe puts it; “Comprehensive study requires time. A course that gives you that time is key.”

With a growing list of keen clients and a firm will to succeed, we have no doubt that Joe will continue to build a long and prosperous second career as a massage therapist. But what advice would he give to somebody thinking about starting a massage therapy course?

“Make sure you do your research properly because the market is swamped with massage courses of various kinds,” Joe said, “Sometimes, if you’re not ‘in the know’, you’re not really able to decipher between what is a really good accredited course and what is not.”

Our star student went on to say; “Richdales will personalise their approach to you, they will help you and make sure that they can accommodate you and  make sure you can be the best therapist you can be.”

Thanks for the positive feedback, Joe! And thanks for choosing Richdales.

Joe’s journey is truly inspirational, and it once again proves that any challenge can be overcome if you really want to succeed.

So if you’re looking for the “right time” to study, look at Joe’s words instead:

“There is never going to be a right time. Do your research and then go for it!”

We wish Joe all the very best for the future!