The “Dirty M…” Word

I must say that all of April and May have been months full of travelling for me. I have just returned from Córdoba, Spain, from work on Bilingual Montessori Erasmus project and now I am packing again for two weeks in Amsterdam where I am joining the experts invited by AMI to work on Global School Accreditation (GSA) project.

As I pack, I can’t help but think of Maria Montessori and her travel schedule. She was on the road a lot, sharing about Montessori, training, and advocating for children. One cannot help but be amazed by how far she spread her message and promoted Montessori education around the world.

Working on the Bilingual Montessori Erasmus project with Marikay McCabe and the team in Córdoba, Spain. Check out more about the work here.

I wonder if we all realize that we need to continue this work and get much better at it. We are not very good at promoting Montessori. In the age of the internet, everyone should know what Montessori is and its benefits, right? I don’t think we are there yet, though.

The other day, one of my dear Montessori colleagues said: “I don’t want to spend my time doing marketing, do you?” and her question has been stuck in my head since that day. Should we spend our time doing marketing?

I’ve been in Montessori for over 15 years. I’ve observed ups and downs. I’ve observed what we do and how we do things. One of my major realizations from these observations is that we absolutely need to spend our time doing marketing.

There are two “dirty words” when it comes to our Montessori servant mindsets: Money and Marketing. I’ll leave the “Money word” for another time. The “dirty word” Marketing is what bothers me.

I believe that our ability to do good marketing of Montessori determines our ability to build lasting and sustainable Montessori programs. 

I also believe that as our ability to market Montessori grows, so does the chance that it will spread in a viral way and eventually change the world.

Marketing Montessori, or Montessori marketing, in my head, means LETTING THE WORLD KNOW ABOUT MONTESSORI. And we absolutely need to do more of that.

Check out the results of my efforts on Instagram. It can be lots of fun too!

I think Maria Montessori was the best Montessori marketer ever.

The whole world knew her and her method, and everyone wanted her to come and speak about it.

She spoke with politicians, philosophers, writers, inventors, the rich, and the poor. She spoke about it all the time. She connected the world around her mission of improving the conditions of life and education for the child.

She completely revolutionized the way the world looked at early childhood learning. And she did this at a time when there was no internet. She couldn’t fly all over the world like we can today, she had to sail to America to speak about her discoveries!

E. Jerome McCarthy, the author of “Basic Marketing: The Managerial Approach,” says:

“Good marketing means developing the ‘right’ product and making it available at the ‘right’ place with the ‘right’ promotion and at the ‘right’ price, to satisfy target consumers and still meet the objectives of a business.”

Maria Montessori certainly developed the right product, made it available at the right place, with the right promotion and at the right price. She met the needs of the “target group” in the most amazing way WHILE fulfilling her goals and spreading her vision. She created the perfect marketing mix!

Maria Montessori in 1951 giving a speech for UNESCO Institute of Education

There are many parallels between Montessori and marketing. In fact, as with everything on this planet, we can even look at marketing through a Montessori lens. Or, if you want, we can do marketing in a Montessori way.

That is my answer to the moral dilemma and the question of whether we should spend our time marketing our Montessori programs. We absolutely should.

Write to me an email at mirka@amiprague.cz and let me know what you think about “the dirty M word.” I can’t wait to read your thoughts on the matter!

With love and care,