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The People Teaching People Podcast Episode 31: Let Me Reintroduce Myself with Tiana Fech

031: Let Me Reintroduce Myself with Tiana Fech

This episode was suggested to me by a few people! I was asked: Why don’t you have an episode where someone interviews you? The reason – this would be a way for people to get to know you better and learn more about you and your story. 

I want to say a huge thank you to Lyndsie Barrie for offering to be the interviewer for this ‘role reversal’ episode.

Lyndsie Barrie has been an instrumental part in turning mere ideas into viable businesses for many women entrepreneurs. In 2019, Lyndsie launched a marketing school and community called “YYC Fempreneurs”. She has gone to the next level by publishing six books educating women. Lyndsie tirelessly shares her passion for social media marketing and promotes collaboration with like-minded women through online workshops and live events in the Calgary area. Hundreds of women have found the direction, confidence and connections they need to succeed thanks to Lyndsie and her community of Fempreneurs. 

Lyndsie enjoys her “me time” in the middle of nowhere swimming in a creek, sitting by a campfire with a beer in her hand, or mountain biking. She loves watching her son play football and hockey. On most afternoons, she can be found taking a 20-minute nap.

 

I am a mom of three boys, who are 17, 15, and 12 years old, and an educator and lifelong learner with a diversity of experience in the field of education including curriculum development, classroom teaching, and inclusive education. 

I spent 4 years as a sessional instructor in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary and in 2021 I received an Excellence in Practicum Supervision Award. Currently, I am an Academic Engagement Facilitator at SAIT helping to create collaboration opportunities among the research centers and academic schools to increase student engagement with applied research. 

Through my book, Online Course Creation 101: A step-by-step guide to creating your first online course, and my business, Tiana Fech Consulting, I use a relationship-centered approach to help businesses create and optimize learning experiences that inspire, engage, and connect with their clients, customers, and communities. 

Of course, I am also the host of this podcast – The People Teaching People Podcast – which is the place to talk about all things teaching and learning in a world where there is always more to discover. 


Listen in as we talk about:

[4:25] My childhood and my parents as role models and teachers

[10:52] Some of my favourite teachers

[17:29] The people in my life who have taught me by example

[26:33] How curiosity can lead to opportunities 

[33:48] My podcast journey over the last 4 years

[42:48] My advice to my 10 year younger self

[59:27] Advice for people who are thinking of starting a podcast

 

Tiana Fech with her husband and three boys.
LEARNING FROM MY PARENTS

Although as a teenager, I thought that I had the strictest parents in the neighbourhood, my parents taught me many things. This included being generous, the importance of relationships, and the value of experiences over things. My parents were, and continue to be, role models who have influenced the person that I am today. 

The value of experiences over things plays a big part in my own family and is one of our key family values. As I did with my parents and brother and sister, my husband and I and our 3 kids do a lot of things together. This includes camping, travelling, and birthday special times. When you have 3 children, getting one-on-one time with your kids can be a challenge! Birthday special times are special outings for the birthday kiddo, one with just mom and one with just dad. 

 

 

BECOMING A TEACHER

From a young age, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. This dream started when I was just seven years old, inspired by an amazing teacher I had. She was incredible in every way, creating a classroom environment that was welcoming, fun, and an ideal place for learning. Her impact on me was profound, and I aspired to be just like her. 

My parents believed in letting us choose our own paths. One of my dad’s favourite sayings was, “Who owns the problem?” This meant that the consequences of our choices, whether good or bad, were ours to bear. They never explicitly directed me towards or away from teaching; they simply supported whatever path I was interested in, which was truly empowering.

Over time, my vision for teaching evolved. Initially, I was set on becoming an elementary school teacher. This decision was influenced by my experiences in summer camps and various volunteering activities with younger children. However, during my practicums in elementary schools, I realized that my true passion lay elsewhere. I found myself drawn to older students, which aligned well with my first degree in science. I loved science and recognized that teaching at higher grade levels would allow me to specialize rather than be a generalist. 

Interestingly, both of my parents had careers that incorporated elements of teaching – my mom as a social worker and my dad in community development and public relations. This connection to teaching in their professions probably influenced my own path

 
The speakers at the FEMTalks event at the ATB Entrepreneur Centre in Calgary, Alberta in January 2023
LEARNING FROM OTHERS AND BEING TAUGHT BY EXAMPLE

A mark of lifelong learners is recognizing that they can learn something from everyone they meet.” ~ Adam Grant

Beyond my parents and favourite teacher, I’ve learned significantly from various people in my life, embracing the idea that I can learn something from everyone that I meet. This notion, inspired by this quote from Adam Grant, guides me to seek learning opportunities in every interaction, even in less positive circumstances. 

My grandmother is another ‘teacher’ who played a pivotal role in shaping who I am. She was a figure of warmth and openness, always ready to listen and answer my countless questions. Her honesty in sharing her stories and feelings taught me the value of genuine communication. She was not just family; she represented the essence of a good human being, focused on heart-centered relationships.

Another influential figure in my journey was my English teacher, Geoffrey, during my senior year at Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific. As an international student among peers from diverse backgrounds, I initially felt intimidated and out of place. Geoffrey, however, saw potential in me that I hadn’t recognized in myself. He was more than a teacher; he was a mentor who helped me discover my own strengths. A defining moment was during an oral exam for the International Baccalaureate program, where his feedback and the opportunity to listen to my own presentation made me realize the depth of my understanding and knowledge. Geoffrey’s belief in me was transformative, guiding me towards self-belief and confidence.

 

Tiana Fech says “You don't have to be completely ready or have everything figured out to start.”

WHAT I WOULD TELL MY 10 YEAR YOUNGER SELF

You don’t have to be completely ready or have everything figured out to start.”

Reflecting on what I’d tell my 35-year-old self, a key message emerges: you don’t have to be completely ready or have everything figured out. At that time, with three children 7 and under, I often underestimated myself. This attitude was particularly relevant when I first taught at the University of Calgary. Despite some initial reservations, I embraced the role and truly understood that perfection isn’t a prerequisite for a new position and opportunity. As I moved into different roles, like when I became an academic engagement facilitator, I learned the importance of adapting and evolving.

This journey of self-discovery and growth has been a central theme in my work as a consultant and in supervising student teachers, even when language barriers existed! I believe in saying ‘yes’ to opportunities, even when you don’t feel fully prepared, as it opens doors to learning and growth. My experiences, including mentorship through the Scotiabank Women’s Initiative and writing a book, have taught me the value of facing fears and leveraging community support. 

The essence of my podcast, The People Teaching People Podcast, is to encourage listeners to seize opportunities and learn from challenges. This podcast serves as a platform to share these insights, offering guidance, inspiration, and a sense of community to others embarking on similar journeys of personal and professional development.

 

Guest host Lyndsie Barrie speaking at the FEMTalks event at the ATB Entrepreneur Centre in Calgary, Alberta in January 2023

Connect with Lyndsie:

 

Connect with Tiana:

 

Listen to Lyndsie and my first podcast episode together!

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