Do I need school to be...

a teacher/impact maker? with Esther Ciganda

November 18, 2021 Alex Villacís Season 1 Episode 17
Do I need school to be...
a teacher/impact maker? with Esther Ciganda
Show Notes Transcript

This week we have Esther Ciganda on the pod. Daughter of immigrants and an immigrant now herself, she is an athlete, a teacher, a podcaster and a multi-passionate business mentor who wants to teach teachers how to make a little bit more income on the side and more.

On this very fun interview we spoke about:

  • The life changing decision she made laying on a Mexican beach
  • The hidden Spanish treasurer in Boise, Idaho
  • Her goals a business coach
  • How she learned to be the teacher who empowers students 
  • Her two podcast ‘Teach, Lauch, Create’ and ‘The Immigrant All Around’ and more! 

Want to learn more about Esther? Reach out to her, she is not shy!
Here are some links:
Instagram
Her Website
The Immigrant All Around Podcast
Teach Lauch Create Podcast
Enseña. Crea. Empodera en Facebook
Esther en Twitter
The Teacher to Entrepreneur Kit by Esther
Esther on Clubhouse

In an effort to make this podcast accessible, we make transcripts of every episode. You’ll find the transcripts on our website here, https://doineedschooltobe.buzzsprout.com

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Esther Ciganda:

and went through school I always wanted to be a doctor. I've literally changed my idea to be a doctor a one month before graduating, I was in Mexico and further away out of the lane on the beach. And I was like, I don't want to be a doctor. I want to be a teacher. But in reality, I was teaching my entire life I had been teaching my brother English, like I remember grabbing my parents English books going over that. And then also tutoring in the high school and any new immigrant because we have a lot of migrants in our area that come for farming. And so anytime there was someone new in our classroom that didn't know English, the teachers always said Esther, can you help? And I gladly always helped, like that was for me. Sure, of course.

Alex Villacis:

Hello, friend. And welcome back to another episode of joining. It's going to be the podcast in which we Alex is going to sit down with creatives and ask them about their journey into the creative field, focusing on their education, the teachers who shaped them, the box was shaped in the movies in general what their journey was like, if you're somebody who is thinking about entering the creative field, I hope this show will be a resource to you and show you that we all have different paths, and they are all valid. So let's go real quick. Sorry for the echo on my side. I was in an empty room, and that cost a lot of echo. But that said, In this week's episode, I'm talking to SRC ganda, who is a language teacher, she's a fellow podcaster. She is a traveller and athlete, a fellow entrepreneur, the world's best and apparently she's all the things and more. And I'm so happy to bring you this conversation because she is really my exact definition of a great teacher. But enough of my babble. And let's get to the conversation with Esther ciganda. And here we are. Good morning, Esther. How are you today?

Esther Ciganda:

Fine. Thanks. Good morning to you, Alex. How are you?

Alex Villacis:

I'm very good hearing the beautiful Rotterdam hoping that the construction work next to me. It's not going to start like banging or making a lot of noise. Where are you right now? What are you up to?

Esther Ciganda:

I'm in in dire France, so south of you. And today, it's a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, sunny day. And I'm so excited because after we're done, I'm going to be heading to the beach and I don't know in your neck of the woods, but down here coastal. It's been cloudy for almost a month. So I'm really looking forward to it. And other than that podcasting with you today. That's what I'm up to.

Alex Villacis:

So you're enjoying life. 100%

Esther Ciganda:

Yes, 100%. I've got work to do later today. But I also have to make time for myself, which is really important. We finished my school year officially finished last Monday on June, what was it 27th or so? So I just barely finished school.

Alex Villacis:

That's awesome. It's so important to carve out time for yourself and be like, how am I going to make myself feel alive today like step out of work and step out of obligations to just like feel alive and exist commonly in the world? Exactly. Let's begin. Please tell the audience who you are and what you're currently working on.

Esther Ciganda:

All right. I'm Esther ciganda. And as we discussed, I'm living in India, France, but I'm originally born and raised in Moses, Lake Washington. And my parents are both immigrants. They are from Nevada, Spain from the Basque Country. And they both immigrated to the United States. And that's where I was born. So for me, all a lot of my perspective, a lot of my values in life are because of these immigrant parents and who I you know, empathise with who I want to help out always. So that's where I was raised. first language is Spanish, I learned English in school, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And went through school. I always wanted to be a doctor. I've literally changed my idea to be a doctor a one month before graduating, I was in Mexico and further away out of the lane on the beach. And I was like, I don't want to be a doctor. I want to be a teacher. But in reality, I was teaching my entire life I had been teaching my brother English, like I remember grabbing my parents English books going over that. And then also tutoring in the high school and any new immigrant because we have a lot of migrants in our area that come for farming. And so anytime there was someone new in our classroom that didn't know English, the teachers always said Esther, can you help? And I gladly always helped, like that was for me. Sure, of course. And I've always loved that. And then so I didn't realise I wanted to be a teacher because I really wanted my ideal is I wanted to help people and teaching is helping people as well. So like I said, one month before graduating, that's what I did. And I was still, you know, science. My degrees are in biology and chemistry in Spanish. So that's what I ended up doing is teaching for 16 years in the States, those, but I always had this long this childhood dream that I wanted to come back to the country of my parents, which is to come live over here in Europe. And I had wanted to do that when I student taught and I didn't do it. So I started playing a lot of Alaska when I moved to Boise, Idaho to teach and I decided I said when I turned 40

Alex Villacis:

I took assume that you started playing a lot of Aska in Boise, Idaho. Yes. How used and I am sure people will be like,

Esther Ciganda:

Wow, yes. And in Mexico, if anyone listens to Mexico, they are familiar with the North America, you know, and in the eastern United States. So we have a huge bass population in the state of Idaho. There is over 5000, from one of the autonomous, you know, one of the provinces, which is the sky at living there alone. And in the Western United States, there's a lot of immigrants that came for sheep herding, and working there. So California, you have a lot Nevada, Utah, Oregon, Washington, and even up into Canada. And then throughout the United States, there's pockets, but in Boise, there's a huge population. And there's also a fountain, which many people in Boise don't even know exist, because it's literally downtown Boise. And it's built underground. And it was designed that way for the sheep herders above, they set up all the beds, the bunk beds, that's where they would sleep, when they'd come down from the mountain for a while. And then they needed something, some recreation. Well, they built him a court, and it's underground, right in the middle, literally, of downtown Boise. So that's how that came to be. I went from teaching eight years in my hometown, to a second little dream, if I can't come to Europe to teach, I'll go to Boise. And the route took me there, you know, life takes you where it needs to be, I think life really puts you where you need to be. And ultimately, the story of my life is I wanted to be here. But I also had always wanted to play the sport. And by going to Boise, that opportunity came up to me, I took it and I started playing the sport and it took me the plane worldwide, like I started playing internationally playing in Argentina, in Mexico in Chile. And it when 20 It was in 2010, I was over in po France. And that's when I realised I was neglecting my dream, which will my dream was to come live here in Europe, and to learn the Basque language. And that's when I said, Esther, you need to fulfil your dreams. And that's when I did that. So I started learning Basque, they would get a language right then and there as soon as I returned back, and then that's when I set the goal when I turned 40. If nothing's holding me back in the states, like I'm not married, I don't have children. It's just me myself. And I guess I have my parents that are I have my brother and I have my nieces and my sister in law. But I also have to live my own life, even though they're they're like, How can you leave, you know, and especially as parents that you know, they have an ideal, they're very, you know, old world country. And, you know, as he ha in your, you know, so that you're single, you can't leave home, stay home. And for them. It's been really hard even when I moved to Boise. They weren't happy, like, how could you leave us and coming to Europe for them is going backwards, because they left Europe to go to the United States, the country of opportunity. So for them, it's backwards. So that's how that took me into voisey. But not Alaska, but pelota busca is what has opened many doors also. So yeah, which takes me now to I'm still teaching, I just finished year 23. But I'm teaching now English in Spain, living in France, and teaching in Spain. And then I also two years ago, well, even earlier than that, probably about four or five years ago, when I moved here is when I discovered there was this online world of entrepreneurship, I didn't really realise it as a teacher, I'm really tech savvy, have always used tech applications. But then all of a sudden, I had more time here than I did in the States, because in the States I just was way more just busy, busy had a lot more things between playing a lot more sports, because the United States offers a lot of community sports, so I was really active with that. And then just more social activities. And here I was, like, you know, I've hit an age I'm just gonna read comm you know, and I realised there's like this world, there's teachers online, I didn't realise like, you can run your own business online. And that's when I started. I wasted way too many years. I wish I would have started earlier. But that's what I'm currently doing. I have trying to do two businesses plus teach full time which is one is for helping the English speaking the US Botha which could be in the States, England, Australia, anybody who has these bass groups or non bass group but want to learn the Basque language, help to connect them with the language. And then also, what I've noticed is in the English speaking world, teachers are there's many that are already doing entrepreneurial jobs, side hustles or full time jobs on the side, either with TPT stores, or painting or sports, you know, like yoga, running things. They're doing lots of different things. But what I noticed is a Spanish speaking community isn't and I'd really like to you know, embark on that like, I'd love to help The Spanish speaking teachers become entrepreneurs like, Hey, don't you want maybe a little extra money on the side to travel to afford the things that you want to have a little bit more of that freedom. So that's what I'm doing. And that one's a more of a research, still doing a lot of market research looking for, you know, my first beta students doing a lot of the marketing of it now, but that because that one's new, but then the Basque one I already have established. So that's what I'm doing. Plus podcasting to podcasts. I've got the immigrant all around which I hope you will be my guest soon. Yeah. So got the immigrant all around. And then I also have teach lunch create. So got two podcasts, plus all of that. So busy girl.

Alex Villacis:

I visit but I love it because it's I'm very passionate about all the things that you're doing. And I really hope it translates into the recording and to people who are listening to this, how much passion you're putting behind everything. And my usual next question is how do you get here, but you got here through a very winding road, like part of me still processing how Europe in the US is in Boise, Idaho, I never expected that. So now I'll have to add it to my list of places to go because I want to see that route done.

Esther Ciganda:

Well, if you if I recommend I would recommend next year, because of COVID. We have that we have a Basque festival in Boise every year. It's called sunny NASCIO. And it's always the last weekend of July. But every five years we have a big one. And it's called Hi LD. And it's Jai a LDI Hi, Olli. Which high means festival in Basque. And it's every five years and it started in the year 1987. And that one, I mean for all of us locals. It's overwhelming because it's so huge, but it attracts over 30,000 plus people from around the world come for this festival. And I would recommend that like for anyone for you, Alex, like if you wanted to discover Boise, not only just the best festival, but like in the you know, around Boise because you've got Yellowstone that isn't too far away. I mean, yes, it's far away. But in reality compared to the size of the United States, Yellowstone is there from Boise you can go to California, you got whitewater rafting. So next year, because it was supposed to be in 2020. But it's been postponed to 2022. So invitation go to Boise next year.

Alex Villacis:

Sounds amazing. And I never would have thought to go to Boise, Idaho, but now it sounds like a half two sounds like I'll see. Yes. Yes. So in during this entire journey that you have been through? Do you have any teachers that because you had a formal education as a teacher? Mm hmm. And but even uh, did you have mentors? Do you have influences people like who Mark do and when you're doing something you're teaching, or you're podcasting or you're playing sports, that you hear in the back of your head? Like, who whose advice like stuck with you? Or maybe whose words of rejection that stuck with you? That can also happen? Like, do you have people like that in your life?

Esther Ciganda:

Yeah, I think for me, the number one, you know, mentors in my life have always been my parents, you know, to watch to people that they came for different reasons, they, they actually meant the United States, and they're from different areas, and to watch as a little girl, because you become aware of life pretty quick as a little kid when you're watching. But also, as soon as I started learning English, you know, once I hit school, five years old, my parents would always say to Allah, to Allah, you speak, you speak. So they put a lot of pressure on me, they were, I'm really reserved, like people are like, you're not reserved, I go actually, I am like, if someone talks to me, I'm really talkative. I feel like I have a lot to offer to a conversation, but I'm not also the go getter. And I don't need the limelight. I don't need the limelight. And so my parents would, you know, do that too. Because your English is much better, they're gonna understand you. So I grew up always like being there to help them. But also, it's a lot of pressure for a little kid, you know? And, but then also, I grew up watching them and seeing everything we went through, like how poor we were, like, I remember what we went through. You know, I don't know if my brother remembers it as much as I do. But I do. But to watch what they've done, what they've suffered, how many jobs they were dealing with, like they were working at one time, my dad, you know, and I was just like, how do they do that? And humbly, never ever tooting their own horn never ever, like look at No, very just they know this is life for you know, they don't care what anyone else is doing. They might comment on it, but to them, it's always about just take care of yourself, just worry about you hard work for yourself, and life's gonna give back. So those are my number one mentors and in everything from money management, you know, I couldn't be doing what I'm doing now, if I didn't know how to handle money and how to, you know, because I compare what I was earning in the United States and this is where my dad is correct. What you earn in the United States as a teacher compared to what You earn here in Europe is not even not even close. So you have to have a good mindset. And you have to really understand finances and to be able to live, like how I do. Because otherwise it's a big like, eye opener like, Whoa, what a drastic change. But then as far as my formal education, I've had several teachers that I feel have impacted me like, I've been fortunate. I've liked all my teachers, some of them haven't been the best. But I've always respected they, I've respected every single one of them. But like, my biology teacher in the ninth grade was, you know, he pushed us hard. And he was, he pushed us really hard, because for me, school was always easy. And I always liked science. But that year, it was like really challenging. And I had to study and my dad always said, You are like a lazy, like, you don't even study, you just learn it quickly. You know, whereas my brother, he's smart, also, but he's a smart, that has to work a little bit more. And so that year, ninth grade, it was like, Oh, I have to work, man. And so I would that impacted me because it taught me like, You got to work to earn things like it shouldn't be easy, nothing should be easy. You should have to work on it, you know, a little bit. And then my math teacher in high school, and I'm turning if I think was for trigonometry, he was excellent. And what I really liked about him was how genuine he was he always told us, he wasn't the smartest guy. He said he barely passed by high school and college. But what he discovered was, he enjoyed math. And he was able to really simplify the process, so that we all understood it. And to me, that's exactly what really like would sit in the back of my mind. And always, I always want to simplify everything I teach my students because I've had professors in university that I use these big words, and they talk in big lingo. And it's like, talk normal, like, talk in the way that everyone in society talks. And even with my parents, I'll never remember what we were doing. But we had to go meet with someone like for legal papers, I don't maybe about the farm or something. And I went with them. And I was older. And they started using legal terminology. Here, I don't understand. And my dad's like, can you repeat that again? And the lady looks at him as like, Oh, do you need an interpreter? And that's when of course I'm like, you know, like, I'm like, No, my dad doesn't need an interpreter. But can you use terminology? That's common vocabulary? Because I don't even understand that. And you're using professional speak for your profession, not for someone that's not in your profession. And so to me, why do people talk down to others? Why did that's always been impactful to me, like the teachers that always talk to high school kids as humans. And as a teacher, when I became a teacher, in an area where like I said earlier, we have a lot of migrants. So we also have a lot of gangs happening. But as a teacher, to me, I always treated each single kid, I don't care what colour you are, I don't care if you're purple, blue, black or white. I treat the behaviour. And my students recognise that you know, enough, I would see some, you know, Mexican kids that would be with their pants down. And I would say to them in Spanish, I'd be like, hey, to the mountains was Pantalon sky, Mr. De La Bella. And they'd be like, no, no, no, you know, don't call my grandma. I'm like, Well, I'm gonna, or I had a different, I could talk to them different where other teachers couldn't, because they were afraid for whatever reasons I'm like, but their human being, you're afraid of what because of the way they dress or their behaviour, or they're always in trouble, but treat them as a human. And these same kids. Yeah, they were troublemakers. But when we would go to assemblies, and if they were doing something naughty, and I would always go sit by them, because teachers, we would have to sit by them. So I'd go sit in their little area where they all sat together. But it's it kind of middleware I could watch. And what they told me they always said, Why don't you become an administrator, teacher, you know, Esther, or Mr. Ghana, because we use the titles there. And I'm like, why would I become an administrator? I like teaching and they're like, because you're good at not judging us. You judge us for what we do wrong. And I go, Well, duh, that's exactly what every single one of us should do. And they, they open my eyes. They're like, Yeah, but that's not how we're treated. And I'm like, really? That's, that broke my heart because I'm like, no one should judge, you know, that this is, you know, I was a young teacher and I'm like, wow, like, they're judging you because of the skin, your skin colour. No, judge the behaviour, you know, and that's what these kids noticed that if a white kid was doing them, you know, being naughty, I was on them. I wasn't just on them because they look different. So those are things that have impacted me the most are teachers that have have treated every single one of us equally. No one's been judged on how they speak, they speak differently. They look different, they act different. And when I embarked on, you know, when I became a student teacher, I had powerful mentor teachers, which were very supportive, you know, very helpful. And then I became a, you know, a mentor, teacher, myself to many new teachers. And that's what I always wanted to empower them, empower them to be the best self, and they're always scared, you're always scared. It's my first classroom. And it's like, I'm here for you. I'm not going to let you fall. But I'm going to let you grow your wings. You know, I'm here to support you. And I want you to try anything and everything. It's my classroom. But as soon as someone walks into my classroom, it's now yours. You know, because a lot of teachers, which also blew my mind, a lot of teachers don't want student teachers, because it's their classroom. And it's like, whoa, but we all went through that, why wouldn't you open your doors to someone else to learn, and I've had so many through the years, and it's been wonderful. And that's I hope I help them feel what I always felt. And then in entrepreneurship, and in podcasting, I've had some, you know, big the, some big gurus and some non even gurus for podcasting. I went after, you know, when I was trying to figure out podcasting, there was Pat Flynn, who I really liked, because I started listening to his podcast. And I really, that's a lot of business. I didn't know anything about affiliate law, I learned a lot of vocabulary, vocabulary that's really particular to not only podcasting, but to entrepreneurship. And you have to learn this new lingo, you know, and so I learned it through him. And then when I was like, oh, I want a podcast. Well, how do I do it? It's more than just a microphone. Yes, I can grab a microphone and talk. And so he was my mentor, you know, and that's why I listened to because of his podcast, so. And I really like how he does things, and I ended up buying, you know, his course. And it really helps me to, he does Office Hours weekly. So if I ever want to go listen, and just get more inspired, and see how he does how he runs like probably a multi million, you know, Empire, I don't know how much money he makes, and I can't, I don't care. That to me, money doesn't matter. It's what how he makes me feel and how he treats others. And what I noticed is, he's so professional, but he's so down to earth, like he's not above us. He's just like us. And he's always like, I remember when I started, he goes back to his days, and makes it real. So those are some of the people that really empowered me. And I think that's I look, I looked for those simple people, the people who treat everyone equal, not these big gurus that are gonna, they they know they're good, which I commend them, but they also are above us, you know. And

Alex Villacis:

Hey, friend, it's me, Alex, interrupting this conversation super quickly to remind you that in order to have the optimal podcast experience, like being able to enjoy all the links in the show notes, you should subscribe to the show. It really helps us like the show makers podcasters. But it also helps you because it improves the algorithm of the app. So your suggestions will be more tailored to what you want, which is pretty nice. Also, if you want to support this show, you can follow us on social media, all the links are in the bottom. And we also have a buy me a coffee, which really helps pay for the hosting for the show. And it also buys me coffee because I love coffee. Anyways, I'll stop talking now. And let's go back to your conversations with SRC ganda? That sounds so deep. I've loved so many things that you have said, like not judging people on their actions, not by how they look like. It sounds so basic, but it sounds like but it's hard. It's something that a lot of people don't do. They go like, Oh, you look this way you hide your I'm gonna reduce it to the lowest common denominator. And I know for people who look like you, and I'm gonna start from there, instead of being like, Okay, let's start from scratch and start from how you're talking to me. How are you behaving? Yeah, I love what you said about the language that we're using. I was listening to a podcast the other day about how there are a lot of legal issues people could solve on their own. If it wasn't for the legal lingo that say like, why are you explaining it this way? Is it necessary to use all these technical words that I don't understand? And we say neckla demon and Christiana. Yeah, it's fun. It's evil. Like, tell me explain it to me in the language of the Christians and then I'll understand it. Yeah. And I think there's also in relation to that to German people and language when you take an English test. So as far as I know, in the US or how my English education was, you were smart if you aced English, but as very specific English, I learned British English when I was citizen, and I thought like, Okay, why would I call it biscuits? It was natural for me to call it cookies. But if I wrote cookies, it was wrong because It's Prescott. So I'm like,

Esther Ciganda:

This British. Yeah.

Alex Villacis:

How is my ability to speak British English correlate in any way to how smart I am? No. And that applies to creative education too, that people think like, okay, because you don't ace this test, or you don't have this intelligence that we have recognised as the useful intelligences, you're not smart. So we box kids, or even, even very young kids as the age of three or four, we box them in, because you're creative. You're not smart. Yeah. And that's very sad. Because really, because then as creative people we generally build with this, or we, we grew up with this rejection for school with this environment that made us feel dumb. And that's when teachers like you come in and flip it around and be like, Oh, you're not seeing me just as the dumb creative kid, you're seeing me as the kid that is showing up at a space in judging me from there. So I commend you for that. You're like, you probably changed the way those kids saw a teacher.

Esther Ciganda:

Yeah. Yeah, and I hope so. Cuz, to me, I'm their key, you know, and one of the, one of my vice principals also taught me, you know, especially in Moses Lake I had, it was a four period day. So I taught three classes, and one was prep. But these classes were jam packed, almost your 40 kids will do the math 40 times three, you're nearing almost 120 kids a day that you're impacting. So when I look at 23 years, I've taught over 2000 Kids, I've taught a lot of kids, that's a lot of humans to impact. And everybody has a unique story. Every single one of us has a unique story and a background that you never know. And my principal taught me when I was student, it wasn't when I was student teaching was my first year teaching. And he told me, he I'm gonna give you a task. And he was and I think you're up for it. As he said, I'm like, Okay, what is it, he goes, try to use every kid's name once, during your 90 minutes. Every kids must hear their name at least once in that 90 minutes. If it's just saying, Hi, Alex, or Hey, Alex, can you go next? You use their name. And to me to this day, that is so important that I use every kid's name, and every kid gets called on. And then the kid that crawls in there, you know, they're uncomfortable. But guess what, they have to learn that because in life, you're gonna have to defend yourself at one point, and I see them crawl, but and they're like, but I don't know. But what if you did know? What have you didn't know just answer, because I'm not going to let them laugh at you. Because they're going to get squashed right away. If anyone dares laugh, you know, to me, every single one of my kids will always be protected. And like you said, the creatives, even more so because to me, it's an area that I don't necessarily understand as well, because I'm not I don't consider myself very artistic. But at the same time, I am creative. I've always said, I'm really creative here. I just don't necessarily know how to get it out. And others know how to get it out. So I think every single one of us has that potential to be creative and unique. So yeah, that's so true. Everybody has the potential to be creative. It's just that we have defined it in your creative if you can paint or you're creative, if you can draw, you're creative. You can do graphic designing stuff, but everybody's creative. They have a level of creativity that others don't have, like I am a creative professional, but don't ask me to cook. I can I can I can follow a recipe I cannot come up with one. My younger sister on the other hand, she can just whip out something out of nowhere. And she cannot draw for it to save her life. Maybe depends on taste, I don't know. But she has that ability to my older sister as well. They are amazing bakers, I cannot make a cake. Like I can use a box cake I guess that it's it's that it's that it's about giving them an outlet and the recognition that is I think that's so important to give everybody recognition. It's that you're a person. You're human, you're not just a number. You're a unique human being who has a name, and it's possible and everyone's capable.

Alex Villacis:

That's it that's so lovely. And you mentioned that you're also doing an online course that you bought an online course on Pat Flynn. How how do you see that is being able to buy courses like that, and teachers educated online, like you said before? How do you think that will impact education in the future? Because now we are. You also mentioned like the mentor teaching programme, which is like face to face. Mm hmm. But we are achieving getting to a place in which those are more balanced. It's no longer you have to fit into this school scheme that we have into the syllabus. You can go out to the internet and look for something that works for you. I have a personal, for example that needs for my education, I need the structure, I need the pressure of deadlines, I need the feedback. But there are other people who learn beautifully just with YouTube videos and experimenting by themselves self taught people. So as a teacher, how do you think that will change and grow and move on forward in the future, this combination of digital and personal?

Esther Ciganda:

Well, and I think it goes to what I said, everyone learns differently. And I've had many students over the years that, you know, every every school system around the world is different. And in the United States, it depends where you're at how you like, what are the percentages of what their grades are, like, for example, you might put an emphasis, like 50% of their grade is homework. Well, imagine you have a kid and I've had several of them, they refused to do homework, they don't care to do homework. And they, maybe some of them just read books, some of them, I don't know what they're doing. But what what I do realise is, when they come to class, they don't do any homework. But when it comes to exams they perform, and the AC exams, but then when you get that great average, instead of getting an A, they get a C. Well, a C is average, if you think about it, it's an average grade. So then I got to talk to the parent, how's my child doing? And what I can tell them is, they're lazy, they could easily do the homework. But what I tell the parent is this, I don't worry about them. Because one thing is, they've shown me over and over, that they know the material that they're capable of learning. The fact is, they don't want to do the homework. And to me, what shows that shows us some of these kids, they don't care. And what they realise is, it's a stepping stone that schools make you do in order to pass high school, but in reality, they don't need it for the real world. Because they know how to get things done. They've showed it to me on their results in exam. So those are the kids I tell the parents I go, I know you're worried because they're not getting the right grade for our scholarship, whatever. But as far as will they be ready for real world? The real world? Yes, they will be and I don't worry about them. And most of them, I haven't. And that's what I, as a teacher, you see, every kid, some of them are motivated by their grades. And some of them aren't, they don't care about the grade because they realise this grade is only important important for certain things. I don't necessarily need that grade to do what I'm going to be doing afterwards. And I can do that, you know, and they're able to learn. And so when I started seeing more and more like even in schools in the state offering online, like alternatives, you know, there's a lot of online alternatives. You know, sometimes I would recommend if I had students, and I would talk to the student into the parents, and I'm like, maybe that would be a good avenue for them. Because they're not doing well in the social aspect of school, and some students don't. And some of the kids would do that. They would take that and they would excel, and they would cruise through it. Because at the same time in high school, like you said, I like the structure of it, and some kids really need it. Especially because maybe they're capable, but they're also capable of kind of spinning their wheels on their own. You know, they don't hook Oh, they need someone to be on top of them. They need accountability, right? Yes. We both are like you're nodding your head. Yeah,

Alex Villacis:

that's me. It's like I will like dive deep into like, go find something that's interesting. Go for a deep dive into the topic and then realise I surface three years later be like, where am I? Where are we doing?

Esther Ciganda:

Who's wasting time? Wait, wait, I didn't waste time I learned a lot. But

Alex Villacis:

I learned a lot that you can only make. You don't need to know every single thing about how paper is made. Exactly. You can stay you can stay in one spot and be like, Okay, I know what I need to know. I don't have that self control to be like, Okay, I know enough. I have other things to do. I will go deep into the rabbit hole and submerge like Alice in Wonderland be like, damn it. Yeah. It was really fun. But damn it. I have to make up for it now. Yeah,

Esther Ciganda:

I'm obsessive. like way too. I need to know the intricate details of how everything works. Like just being like, oh, yeah, that's okay. No, no, I need to know.

Alex Villacis:

And I do especially like, when there was this TV show, I think was HBO, The Borgias. I got super obsessed with them. I was like, I need to go Wikipedia to lead to read everything I can about his family and need to like dive into their secret. And then I read a book about them. I don't need to know that. It's just like my interest was piqued in that moment. Yeah. And I love what you said about talking to the parents, and that everybody has different learning capabilities, everybody, we're all very neurodiverse. Even if you don't have a diagnosis, we all learn in different ways. Some learn better in a classroom through a lecture. Others learn better through exercises and problem solving. Like the teach. I learned one teach one method apparently is also very popular. But I think something that's very neglected is the fact that we all have different social economical situations. Yeah, and I I experienced that as an adult when I was in university in the sense that my teachers in graphic design told me that yeah, I, you are not putting out in the work at your other classmates. I'm like, okay, am I meeting my deadlines? And I'm meeting my requirements. And they're like, Yeah, but everybody else to ignore them like, yeah, because I am older than them. So I started university when I was 26. And I said, like, Okay, I'm older than them. Let's start there. I have a family who lives here, like my parents and my sister live here. And something they need me just like they needed you for to do something. They were like, Yeah, we have to this call an English like, could you help us Your English is much better than ours. Can you help us with that? I'm like, of course. So there, then I'm also running my own business working like between 30 and 40 hours a week. And I have a life. So I can make this not my only focus. This is my priority. But it's not my only focus. Yeah. Meanwhile, my classmates only focus on this. Yeah, it's their one job is their one job. And then they say, Yeah, but that's a cop out. That's an excuse, it should be your one job. And I'm like, not everybody can do that. Now, some kids in school, they cannot focus on homework, because their parents both work. And they have to take care of younger siblings, or they need to work to help their family or they have a sick parent, or they have other like sports or they have other priorities. And having these rigid school systems and rigid educational systems doesn't allow for that. Maybe somebody will be I will do my math lecture online, while my siblings are sleeping while they're taking a nap, then I'll pick up on what I left off, then that's the beauty of the digital part that it allows us flexibility.

Esther Ciganda:

Yeah, allows the flexibility and like you said, everybody, like you are meeting your deadlines, you are getting everything done, you are basically doing the bare minimum, and you were doing everything that was needed. So why do you need to do more, if you were already putting in more into something else. And a lot of times, you know, with students and something I think the United States actually does do a really good job of is teaching everybody to be really well rounded. So you shouldn't just be a student, you should be volunteering on the side, where's your side job, you should have a job? Are you doing sports? Are you doing the band? Are you on the play, they're always teaching, you build your curriculum, as soon as you 14, start building it, start building it. And so these kids are doing so much, but then also teachers need to remember that, but they are doing so much because that's what the system is teaching them to do. So we're creating these really well rounded creatures, you know, these students are, they're going to be really well rounded. Not all of them, but a lot of them. But then we're on top of them, like, you know, to meet those deadlines and stuff. And so that's the thing is, most of the kids that know, you know, you I think teachers don't take the time to get to know their kids and know what they're capable. And then, you know, the hard part is those kids that are doing nothing. And then you have no support from home to even understand what's going on. And that's where I always worry is this kid? How am I going to help them and they're really going, you know, down, down, down, down, down. They don't give you much. And the parents never show up for anything. So then it's like, how can I help? How can I you know, and but there's obviously

Alex Villacis:

it's like, give me a lifeline. I'll pull you out. But I need that I'm reaching out. I need to hold on to me.

Esther Ciganda:

Yeah. And if I don't know anything, how can I help you? So? Yeah,

Alex Villacis:

yeah, I think it's not talked about enough how hard it is to be a teacher and the requirements that are needed to be a teacher, we always go like, Oh, you're a teacher? Like, I hate that idea of those who cannot do teach. That's dumb. Yeah. Because it may it makes no sense. Like maybe it's somebody who like you doesn't want to be in the limelight that says like, I find more fulfilment and passion from helping somebody else than I do from being the star myself. And that is also very, very valuable and the impact that a teacher can have. Maybe you just allowing somebody to, like putting attention on them Be like, Hey, they'd be dumb. Hey, Peter, what are you doing today? Maybe those are little things that say like, Hey, maybe I can do this, maybe I am not this person that I'd be labelled on. And I can continue on this path. And it's opening avenues that maybe themselves they didn't know they have. Yeah, in in the podcast we talked about before, how we're switching from this hierarchical idea of teaching with the teacher is on top and everybody else to the bottom to a more guide, a teacher being a guide, exposing the children to or young people or whoever is learning, because you can learn. You can have a teacher at any age, really, to new avenues and new ideas and be like, Hey, you're doing it. You're podcasting in this way. How about you try podcasting in this other way? And then you see if it fits better? Yeah. Just like opening minds to that.

Esther Ciganda:

Yeah, getting them to be critical thinkers. You know, like, not everything is handed to them, you know, here just follow the cookie cutter. No, no, no, no, you have to learn to think and take what they learn and apply it. And I think that's, you know, that mentorship is more than the teachers becoming more the guide the mentor, and getting the students to think, to do to act, you know, not me just telling you. Yep, just do that. Just put it down. No, no, no, you figure it out.

Alex Villacis:

I love that you say that. And there is this toy designer called Cass Holman who I personally am obsessed with. And she designs toys. And one of them was this really weird thing it was had a nucleus and then like three arms and the arms had magnets. And when she was proposing this toy to the toy companies, they were like, okay, they're white. Are they gonna have colours? And she was like, no, they don't need to have colours. Why Why? Why does colour why would they need to have colours? Set? Yeah, to make it easier for the kids to know where the magnets are. She's like, they don't need help knowing where the magnets are, they will see like which ones match and which ones don't match. The choir you're trying to spoon feed them the game, when the game is whatever they want it to be. It's placed just allowing them to explore and see and test out. Yeah. Yeah, create their own because that's what the play is. It's not just let's play a game that has a beginning, a middle and an end. It's play. It's fluid. It's whatever they want it to be in salsa, you're a teacher that creates that for them just providing the tools and then say like, okay, what are you going to do with them now, and also telling them I know, you can amaze me. I am waiting here excited to see you amaze me.

Esther Ciganda:

Yeah. And that's what I see lacking more and more, you know, because now kids as soon as they're born, as soon as they're able to hold anything, mom and dad are putting phones in their hands or putting a tablet in their hand. And to me, I'm really fortunate for growing up on a farm, you know, because many times we had to create everything to play with, you know, we had a few toys, not many, you know. But the rest of the week created, we build we did everything we were out there in my dad's shop, what can we create? What can we build? And any little thing we found, we made it a toy? And that's what kids are not doing nowadays is they're not designing their own things or not. You know, like you said, the three arms will let the kid create what they want out of this toy. And,

Alex Villacis:

and I think I think it has to do with the idea that parents don't want their kids to be bored. Because if they're bored and misbehave, you just give them something to entertain them. But just let them be bored. If they're bored, like make that creativity comes from boredom.

Esther Ciganda:

Yes, they'll find a way to have fun.

Alex Villacis:

Yeah, just like don't don't put them again, no, put a kid in the lowest common denominator. It's like kids are when they're bored. They're a nightmare. Like, yeah, expect more like to see what they can do and just inspire them that way.

Esther Ciganda:

Yeah. And that's a I think what you just Yeah, and what you just said is key, like as a parent, you're giving the phone to so that they don't misbehave, or because they're bored? Well, then what you tell them is, if you're bored, then what can you find to help that like to fix your suit, you have a problem, so fix it. But the phone's not going to fix it. You know, it's almost like a band aid that covers up something, what it's doing is giving you this false thing, but then the kids not being creative. They're not using this to, you know, create something new and figure something out. They're not figuring out the solution to their boredom. And they need to do that.

Alex Villacis:

Yeah. And I was talking to one of my cousins the other day, and he is he has a stepson. He has like a baby who is less than one the steps on who is six or seven now I'm not sure. And he was talking like, yeah, it's like the internet man. It's so hard. It gets into our brains. And I'm like, the internet is not the problem. The problem is what they're doing on the internet. So get involved. It's like yeah, but they're just like, they don't have creative ideas anymore. And I'm like, That's your job. Really. It you see your kid likes animals. It's a It's interesting in animals that showed him YouTube videos about animals showed like take them to the zoo. Take them to a farm, take them to a supermarket and let them see the fish in them in the fish Sheil? Yeah, just all of those things. It's like nurture that creativity and wanting to grow with teachers. The teacher should be doing that. It's like, everybody's a teacher. Every every person that enters somebody else's life as a teacher is teaching something. Yeah. Maybe not a good thing. Who knows? If I'm teaching something.

Esther Ciganda:

Yep. And what you just said, you know, especially you're young, you know, but 24 You know, I'm 47 but, so I've grown up without internet. I've seen the birth of the Internet and the use of you know, our first email etc. I remember that. And as a teacher, then I've seen the evolution of how computers have been introduced. And so I've been through both phases. You know, I'm right there not middle age and And when I started discovering more and more different resources online to use in the classroom, because that's what we got to recognise, the internet is a tool. The Internet itself by itself isn't going to teach you anything. You have to know how to use the internet. And then the internet can teach you many things. Because it's another teacher, it's another tool. And it's another tool that we can use in the classroom. And I'll never forget, it's gonna be probably around 2007. So, when technology is now depending on where you're at, it's rampant. You know, a lot of people have access to it, but it depended where you were. And when I went from Moses Lake to Boise, where I was going from a school that was newly renovated, we had, you know, whiteboards in every classroom that were I'm teaching in Spain, some classrooms still have chalkboards. Like, oh my gosh, you know, that's, it's the reality, not everybody has the same equal access to everything. And that's what we need to remember that that those of us who do, we are fortunate. And so when I went from one school to the other, and all of a sudden, I was like, wait, I'm using a chalkboard, oh, there's a chalkboard in this room, and then I've got to replace, and then I wanted my students to be able to use their phones in the classroom on No, no, that No, that's no, you can't do that. I'm like, but there's a good use. Let me explain. Explain why. No, no, no. Now with time, I was able to allow that. But I was like, I have some great resources that my students can use interactive with others, to learn the vocabulary to learn the grammar. But the unknown was scary. And there were many administrators and teachers who weren't ready to embrace it. Because the internet was bad. The internet doesn't teach you anything. Well, no, alone, it doesn't. And you can go down that rabbit hole. But if you guide them, and help them and show them like, what's good use of a phone, and what's the improper use of a phone, which Parents also need to be taking care of that with their own children? When do you use a phone? What's it used for? Then guess what? We are all educating society on what's the proper use of this phone? So it's a interesting,

Alex Villacis:

I love that. And I think that's a such a nice note to end this episode on on how we are seeing sometimes the internet FTEs devil, it's like all the interest level, it's how you use it, it's a tool, it by itself will do nothing. But you have to use it and remember that it's a privilege. It's really easy privilege. Oh, yeah. Thank you, Esther, for this amazing targeting. It's very inspirational. And I at least to me, and I know that other people listen to it will feel the exact same way. So is there anything you want to promote another way at the end of the episode, it can be your own work, it can be your podcast, it can be a book or movie wherever you want?

Esther Ciganda:

Well, from promotion, anything and everything? Well, first, if you're an immigrant and listening to this, you know, my podcast is a baby podcast, you know, it's only on episode four, you know. And so I'm going to kick start that up, and kind of put it on hold during the school year, because I wanted, it's gonna be all interviews. And as Alex knows, interviews take time, it takes not only your time, but you're taking the time of someone else. So for me, I'm going to be interviewing immigrants because to me, it's important to first have a conversation with immigrants what they've gone through, but it's also I want to preserve their voices, their voices for the future for their family. And that's one of the key things with that one. It's called the immigrant all around. My newest podcast, which I launched in April is called Teach, launch create, which is helping you to basically how can you teach what you love what you're passionate about, to launch a business and to create an impact on those around you, like create impact on your family, on your friends on the community on the world. And that's, and I love the way you shorten it. It's called TLC. So for me, it's like my TLC, my tender loving care I send out into the world. And it's not about just all like we've talked about, and I think you understand what I'm about. It's not about throwing you the big words, What's everyone's talking about, I want to simplify it and it's also on building a strong foundation, starting with the mind, everything from with the foundation, you can become stronger, more powerful, more creative, etc. But that's the key to me is building that foundation. And then online. You can find me on Instagram or Facebook at bask in languages bask as in the culture bas qu e bask in languages, or at Esther dot Sugandha. And you can find me at those places or my website, Esther ciganda.com. So I'm around,

Alex Villacis:

you're on all the things you're all the things. Well, thank you so much, Esther, and I really hope you have a great day.

Esther Ciganda:

Thank you. You too. Bye.

Alex Villacis:

What an episode you guys I mean, I'm still wrapping my head around the fact that you can find a basket country in Boise Idaho. I mean I mean, I, I'm shocked. I didn't expect that I'm still processing it. As you can clearly tell it's been a few weeks since we're recording this episode. Yeah, I think Aster is great. I think we've touched so many points important points from discrimination to the impact of a teacher to the importance of education. It really, it was a great episode. I'm so grateful to have had her on the show. And you'll find links to everything she's doing. She's on all the things she's on all the socials, her to podcasts and everything. You will find that on the show notes. And as we come to the end of the show, I want to thank you for joining me on another episode and give me your time. I hope you're enjoying these conversations. And please subscribe to the show and give us a review or give us any feedback you can reach out to us on social media as well. All the links are in the show notes. To let us know if you have questions you would like to ask creatives. What would you like to learn? If you have somebody to recommend please let us know I am here to make something great for you. That said, again, thank you and hope to be again in your ears next week. Keep learning and stay curious. Bye