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How To Make A Living As An English Teacher

From architecture to running an exponentially growing business in English training. An exciting journey and a strong testimony that our most successful ESL teacher shares with us in this live talk. James Drummond is a role model to look up to and follow, an inspiring entrepreneur who saw an opportunity and became the flagship of the Oxinity community. 

By James Drummond

I first started teaching in 1992. I trained as an architect and qualified in 1987.

A few years into my career my professor, Robin Webster, called me and asked me to teach design part-time in my former university - Scott Sutherland School of Architecture, Robert Gordon University Aberdeen.

I loved it. I spent 2 days out of every week travelling from Glasgow to Aberdeen to teach these 2 days. I did this for 3 years.

As my career developed, and I gained experience designing and building projects in Glasgow, I moved away from studio teaching.

I decided to leave Scotland after 11 years in practice. I went about learning Spanish, and relocated to an international design firm with offices across Europe. After completing two large projects in Glasgow, I got the job to move to Madrid to set up and run the Madrid office.

As my experience in Spain grew, our team grew. I was always on the lookout for top talent.

In 2003 I moved to a Spanish firm. We were a team of 65 architects and interior designers and maintained these numbers through the crisis years.

By 2011 I had travelled to Africa, Russia, India and the Middle East in search of work for our large team. I spent a lot of my time helping teams grow, learning how to adapt  teams to their strengths, and help individuals see where their strengths were, and where they wanted to go in their careers.

From 2011 - 2015 my job was to find work and grow our European, Middle East and African team. In these 5 years I grew our EMEA team from 300 to 700 staff.

I worked in 2016 for a sports client, developing sites in China, Germany, France, Italy and the UK. 

In the summer of 2016, I realised that what I loved most was helping individuals achieve their personal goals in their careers.

I decided to stop flying, and learn how to bring a much-needed skill to people enthusiastic to learn to communicate and to do business in English.

Training with Oxinity in 2016 gave me the professional qualification and insight into moving my teaching skills up even further to offer others the opportunity to use English naturally, to feel comfortable in the language, and get business deals done. To excel in their careers.

I love teaching English. I am an English language trainer. It gives me so much pleasure to see my clients progress and grow using English as the international tool for communication.

I have worked across 28 different countries in my career. How many of these have had English as their native language? 2. 

We need English only for one reason; it is, rightly or wrongly, our common global business language.

The Oxinity platform is really exciting as it is focused on two things;looking after the teacher, and looking after the client. Once we look after our teachers, our teachers are equipped to look after our clients. Thus our whole focus is on making it clear and simple for our teachers to help our clients, not to stay at the same level of ‘what they know’.

We want to find out what our clients DO NOT KNOW AND HELP THEM LEARN WHAT THEY ARE MISSING.

The Oxinity system is a technological platform backed by a team of analysts and programmers, that through use of the system platform, learns what each clients needs through consistent feedback and organisation of structured learning material, presenting every class to the client and always covering the three pilars of learning a language: Structure, Vocabulary and the ability to analyse and discuss Topics.

In 2 years I have multiplied my business from a business of between €1.600-2.000 monthly gross invoicing in Year 1, with teaching hours given to me by Oxinity, to €5.000 monthly gross invoicing in Year 2. I now operate the business with 100% my own clients, sourced through networking and building my profile steadily on social networks, and am presently passing teaching hours out to 6 Oxinity teachers in our team.

Year 3 looks really exciting and I am really looking forward to futher business growth, and reaching new and exciting client markets.

I could never have achieved this without the constant and tremendous support that I received from the Oxinity team from day 1.

There are three things that I have learnt are important to make a success of my business.

Follow the system.
Listen to those around you.
Never stop learning. Every day.

James Drummond joined Oxinity in 2016 after completing the Oxbridge TEFL Course. Ever since then, he's been growing in students, groups and companies as an Oxinity partner. He is now managing more than 40  hours a week with the help and collaboration of 6 other teachers from our community. James has clients in Madrid and Bilbao.