Today we’d like to introduce you to Geetha Nagarajan.
Geetha, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am a Montessori certified Early Childhood Teacher with over 13 years of classroom experience.
I was working as an Assistant Director at a Montessori school, where I had worked for over eight years. I was laid off at the end of March , due to the pandemic.
A day after my last working day, I was thinking about how the pandemic has put everyone in a tough spot: schools were closed , parents needed to juggle their work and take care of their children, engage them in learning, etc. while dealing with the uncertainty of the whole situation. That’s when I decided to do something that would give me an opportunity to give back to the community while also helping me start a business.
I quickly thought of a name with my family’s help and began working out the logistics of how to provide my services to the families in our community.
I named my business, “MONTLE.” It stands for (MONT= Montessori +LE = Learning). My slogan is “Make yourself at home with Montessori Learning.”
To keep it safe for everyone, I started sharing my ideas online on my Instagram through the username: Montessorireflections_geetha, Facebook page: Montessori reflections by Geetha and wrote the details of the importance of the activities on my blog.
To start off, I shared it with my friends and family; Our School Director helped me spread the word to the current parents at our school. Then, slowly I started having followers add up, appreciating my ideas and sharing how it’s very helpful for them, especially during this unprecedented situation we all are in. I also began sharing resources for parents to help them navigate this transition better.
I began networking online to establish my presence. Recently, I launched a collaboration forum with fellow Instagrammers to celebrate Maria Montessori’s 150th birthday, wherein I shared information about what parents could look for in a good quality Montessori school and overview of the Montessori curriculum. I also do a weekly Q & A and help parents with learning activities for the children.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It was definitely a new challenging path: I have been a teacher in the classroom, then have served in school administration but this whole online thing was new to me. I had to learn the tools to use for Instagram. Establishing myself and networking online was definitely a learning process. The blog was something I have done before and so was comfortable connecting that to my business.
It is a bit more challenging to convey the details and launch virtual learning without having the opportunity to meet the parents face-to-face. I am continuing to explore ways to improve the effectiveness in order to grow the business.
We’d love to hear more about MONTLE.
I have an online learning platform called MONTLE. I share simple easy to set up Montessori inspired activities using common household items, which helps parents engage their preschool-aged children in learning without having to step out to the store to buy supplies or buy expensive Montessori materials. I share step-by-step pictures/instructions on how to do it with the child, so parents feel equipped and comfortable doing it with them. It’s like I am training the parents to be a “teacher” for their children and ensure they are learning effectively.
I feel honored and humbled that my concept of simple online learning has helped and continues to benefit many families across the world. What sets me apart is the fact that I simplify Montessori lessons and present it in a way that is easy to comprehend and requires no expensive special products. This sure has helped many during this tough pandemic situation we are currently experiencing in the world.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success, for me, is a combination of doing something one is passionate about while ensuring we leave a legacy behind, something that our community can benefit from ,in the present and future. Personal fulfillment is success.
I love Simon Sinek’s books. In his book, “Infinite Games,” he talks about how every business/individual finds himself or herself at crossroads – one leading to “victory” and the other to “fulfillment.” People who have a purpose or know “why” they are doing what they are doing are in the long haul of success, not only for themselves but also to inspire others. Wealth and fame are natural by-products of it. At this time, the satisfaction that I am contributing to help people with their child’s learning during the pandemic is my success.
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/montessorireflections_geetha/?hl=en
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Montessori-Reflections-by-Geetha-105315654456499/
- Other: https://montessorireflections.wordpress.com/