Interview: Eric H. (Language School Co-Founder)
Why did you start Cox & Co Language School?
I studied management and spent a long time working for a consulting company. After a few years of working for the company I realized that it wasn’t exactly my “passion”. I wanted something that gave me more freedom, creativity, and had a stronger international focus.
How has Cox & Co changed your world views?
My life has been an international experience. I spent time growing up in Switzerland and in addition to German and English, I speak some French. I also like traveling because it opens my mind to other cultures. While our language school is relatively small, our trainers come from all over the world so every day is an international experience.
I would also say that I have become more curious, open-minded, and interested in people. I think the unfortunate truth is that we tend to put ourselves in a bubble which surrounds us with people who are similar-minded. I try to stay away from this bubble and create as much diversity around me as possible. I view our team as a family and I genuinely care about all our trainers.
When you first meet a trainer, what type of qualities are you specifically looking for?
We look for native speakers with experience working in a specific industry (for example, your background focuses on digital marketing). We also look for teaching certifications such as a TEFL or TESOL. However, the most important thing for us is personality. We want someone who can put some excitement in the classroom. While certifications hold considerable weight here in Germany, things like flexibility, customer service skills, creativity, and reliability are much more important to me. Teaching English in Germany isn’t so much about this “traditional way of learning” but rather an international experience. We want people who can inspire students to learn not only by teaching, but making each lesson personal, engaging, and fun.
What piece of advice would you give new English trainers looking to teach English in Germany?
If they plan on moving anywhere near Wuppertal, they should contact us! However, I think one of the most important things is to be as prepared as possible because it will (most likely) be a self-employed lifestyle. In Germany, there is a lot of paperwork (and registrations) that are a must for self-employment. We try to help our new trainers with the process (I remember going to the tax office with you several years back). However, not all trainers have this benefit. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and seek out answers – there are other language schools out there who will help with the processes.
Also, every language school operates differently. You posted something about finding a “home school”. I think this is a good tip. I would just add that trainers should do a bit of research to make sure that the language school is a good fit for them. Every language school operates differently.