Vibha Rana has been running the very established and reputed Montessori Cottage for the past 22 years. The preschool is recognised for offering a Montessori approach that is a child centred educational experience based on scientific observation of children which values the human spirit and the development of the whole child at all levels – physical, social, emotional and cognitive.
The preschool today boasts a distinct alumni of young people pursuing diverse careers in various parts of the world with a quiet confidence that came from their early childhood education program.
Children love coming to the Montessori Cottage and they love their Principal who is equally enthusiastic about each child and recognises each one for their individual character with undivided attention.
In this edition of WOW we get to know more about Vibha Rana. Excerpts from a conversation with her as she recently celebrated the preschool’s annual day:
About yourself: I am very enthusiastic. I did my studies in Dehradun and passed out with all India school merit. I received a certificate from the President, and that instilled in me to always give my best to what I do. In Delhi University, I got a gold medal as well. I studied child development and food and nutrition in college. I liked sport and I believe it’s important for overall development. I was the captain of my swimming team. I did my degree in London. And I got my diploma from London and India Montessori Center. Later, I taught in Calcutta and at Rato Bangla when they had a kindergarten curriculum. Finally, I realised it was time to have my own school and I opened Montessori Cottage.
Why did you decide to venture into early childhood education?
I decided for two reasons; one is that I enjoyed being a mom so much and care for my children while they were still young. Two, is when I was in Calcutta for the Montessori teacher’s training program, I found out right then and there that with my love for children, I had to have my own school.
What is the method of studies at Montessori Cottage?
I use the Montessori method but I have incorporated other systems as well. I found it can be rigid in the Montessori system sometimes. I have incorporated more fun, interaction and theme based learning. It’s learning, doing and logical reasoning.
What are the key issues in caring and raising young children to be responsible adults?
It’s loving them and giving an educational environment that provides correct stimuli to evoke the curiosity for learning. And this does generate an eagerness to learn. Every child is special and unique. We just have to give them the exposure and the stimulation, conditioning them to take on life.
What must parents keep in mind when handling young children?
Respect them. Cater to their queries with respect as an individual. Of course, you can’t give in to their demands all the time. Reason it out and explain patiently as to why they aren’t allowed. Never talk them down. Be sensitive.
What do you consider to be your achievements?
Some parents and students still come back and show appreciation for the early education that they received in Montessori Cottage. My students who are now grownups and professionals still find time to say ‘thank you’.