We had the good fortune of connecting with Alejandra Markenson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Alejandra, do you have a budget? How do you make lifestyle and spending decisions?
I’ve been an early education teacher for nine years. Five of the nine years I taught Spanish in a full immersion program. Teaching has been my passion since I was in preschool. I would pretend play with my dolls and vividly remember giving my dolls detention so I could get an extra thirty minutes of teaching. I was let go from the preschool I was working at and forced into unemployment due to COVID in March 2020. The uncertainty of the school’s future was unknown and my career was paused. Even after the world shut down, I stayed in contact with my students. The parents would send me videos and pictures of the kids playing “teacher”. I remember watching a student telling her mom “ I’m Mrs. Ale”. It was that moment my creative wheels started rolling and refused to sit down and watch the pandemic erase all the hard work my students had accomplished. I created unique lesson plans similar to what I previously was using in my classroom, and started utilizing Zoom to send these lessons to the parents. This is how my new business started.

If I wanted my dream of teaching succeeding I needed to create a business plan that appealing for my students. Luckily, teachers have creative minds and can make it work with a small budget. I made all my materials and used recycled items.

The timing of my new business was perfect since the risk wasn’t a main factor. given the circumstances. My advantage was schools were closed and I was providing something essential to the community. My full attention and energy was on my new business. Mrs. Barraza was my co teacher during my student teaching year and her best advice was you can create any lesson plan, don’t let materials stop you. Any teacher knows we can deconstruct anything and make it into something beautiful!!

I grew up with two loving parents who sacrificed and gave everything to my siblings and I. Both my parents are immigrants from Sonora, MX . They made the choice to move to the states and give us the opportunity to live the American dream. Even though we strived for the  American dream our household was a little  pierce of Mexico they brought with them. Our Mexican roots were the foundation of our “casa”. Our culture was alive, my mom made tradition food and most importantly the Spanish language was a requirement at home. Both my parents instilled we speak Spanish at home. The language is part of my identity and it was my parents responsibility to keep our culture alive in our household and now it’s my responsibility to maintain it alive and share my passion, my culture, and my language with future generations.

The most important factor of my success was my clear plan, I set goals for myself and my students. That allowed me to focus on the “why” I started the business. My goal is to share my language with the community and enrich my students on other cultures and the love to fully immerse in language through my curriculum.

Communication is the most important skill in my business. I need to maintain a strong rapport with the parents which means I need to over communicate about my plans and their child’s progress. The conversation is constantly and always open between the parent and I.

Work life balance has definitely been a challenge since I don’t have a workspace outside of my house, all the planning is done at my home. Something I started to do is a set a time and I shut down everything, I don’t talk about work, answer emails or respond to text after that time hits. This has allowed me to focus on my business and my personal life at separate times.

My end goals are evolving everyday. I have short and long term goals. I would love to open a full immersion school and work with creative teachers, teach children the importance of my culture and love for language. A long term goal is creating my own curriculum and spreading it nationwide.

The reason I pursued this path is ultimately for my students, for their success, for the future generation. It’s my obligation to keep the language alive. To spark interest in other families and continue the domino affect. It brings me so much joy writing new lessons plans and creating projects for the children.

“Es Por tu Bien” is the title of a book that I’m currently working on and the plan is to get published. This book is a bilingual book that focuses on the strong relationship between a father and son since the moment he is born. My goal is to  share this book with our community.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I want the world to know, the hard work I (teachers) put into and the love the give the students without any expectation. I want to share my story that 2020 threw a lot of curve balls but that only set the fire for me instead of making excuses and giving up!!! I want to grow my business and I want to share my book! I want to inspire other teachers, mothers, and other women who needs a sign to start something Amazing!!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Southern California is my home! I live in Oceanside which allows to enjoy San Diego and Los Ángeles. Love my favorite spots, Ironsmith, Communal, Revo, HIFI COFFEE, Alfred, Jon and Vinny’s, Dija Mira, Costa Brava!!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My main SHOUTOUT is to my parents, my students’ parents!! Shoutout to Alex, Agatha, Andrea, Holly and Morgan! There amazing mothers beloved in me, trusted me with their children during the uncertain times and most importantly cheered me on while I was starting from the bottom.

Instagram: @alimarkenson

Image Credits
Ali Markenson

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