Kudix Mug Holder of the MonthMeet the kindergarten teaching, Mug Holder of the Month—Mon!
At Toit, our customers have always been our primary focus. They’re the ones who bring life to the place, create memories and end up giving the place its familiar, friendly vibe.
And there are so many different kinds of people who come through our doors daily, that we wanted to get to know their stories.
The Kudix Mug Holder of the Month is our little way of celebrating our customers, and their unique stories.
She’s as much at home managing her kindergarten kids, as she is at ours, managing her beers. Say hello to our Mug Holder of the Month, Moneeta, or as she’s better known, Mon.
We ask this of every Mug Holder—why do you think you were selected?
Alright. I was expecting that.
So, I think it’s because of my love for this place. It’s quite obvious how happy I am when I am here.
Are you a beer lover then?
I am now. Not always been, but I have developed a taste for craft beer after coming here.
How long have you been coming here for?
It was soon after you guys opened. I don’t quite remember the year. We were a group of friends and I think that was about 6 years ago.
Are you from Bangalore?
I’m not. I’m a Punjabi, and I have now been in Bangalore for the longest time. It’s become home. But I’ve lived all over India, my father was in the Army. So we’ve travelled around quite a bit. But now Bangalore is home.
But I’ve lived all over India, my father was in the Army.
You’re a teacher right?
Yes! A Kindergarten teacher.
How long have you been doing that?
It’s been about four years now, this is my fifth year.
I happened to fall into this profession, it’s not something I planned to do, but now of course, I absolutely love it. I did fly for an airlines for a bit, and that was back in college.
I was part of the cabin crew. That didn’t last too long though—I thought it was going to happen, but somewhere with the studies, it didn’t work out. It sounded very glamorous but it didn’t turn out to be like that. It was a good learning experience though.
How did teaching happen?
It all started with understanding Montessori. And that’s when I trained for about 8-9 months and decided to pursue this.
You work with Kindergarten kids exclusively—how has that been?
It’s a lovely age to work with. They are these little individuals who are discovering themselves. When I started working, I realized what a huge responsibility it was to be a teacher. One might think that how much difference can we make in their lives, but I learnt that these children, they look up to us, they watch and learn from us. It’s so important to be a good role model.
What is the best and worst thing about being a kindergarten teacher?
There is no bad part really but yeah in the past, there have been times I’ve felt somewhat restricted because things have to be done in a standardized way. The best part of course is getting to spend time with children and hopefully making a small difference in their lives. I love that about my job.
When I started working, I realized what a huge responsibility it was to be a teacher.
There has been a trend lately—putting kids in the right school has become a business now. And people are starting really early because it apparently makes a huge difference. What is your take on this?
Yes, I’ve noticed that. Parents start planning for their children as early as preschool. It’s all about getting into the “right school”, where their child can get holistic education. Unfortunately, a lot of times, its also about making a statement.
Do you think people are overanalysing it?
Yes, I think so. I feel while choosing a good school is essential, its more important for parents to keep in mind what works best for their child.
Is the pressure on teachers then multiplied? Does the overanalysing also make your job that much harder?
Yes, it does add some amount of pressure because of what is expected of us as teachers. Children are spending a good part of their day at school and we have to ensure that they are taken care of.
Other than academics, our job also involves observing the children and looking for emotional or behavioural changes. Which means a lot more interaction with parents to figure out what might be causing that. Its almost like bringing the home environment into school, where the teachers are the caregivers and mentors and not just educators.
Where are parents going wrong with their kids today?
I think they overprotect their children. They call this generation the Strawberry Generation, because they’re so easily bruised and affected, because they’re not dealing with situations at home.
“But in India, I would say this is not true for everyone. For a large percentage of the people living in our country, the issues are completely different.
I think (parents today) overprotect their children.
When you’re not teaching, is there something you enjoy doing in your free time?
I like coming to Toit! *laughs*
Sometimes I come here with my friends but I love spending time by myself. I’m not an introvert but there are times when I just like to be in my shell and go out by myself. You guys have the Sunday Simmer down. I try not to miss any of those. In fact, that evening they will always have a chair reserved for me and I just love that!
So you’re passionate about music?
Well, in my family, my mother is a trained classical singer but I never picked it up. I love to sing along to my favourite songs. I tried learning the guitar, which was something I always wanted to do since I was a teenager. I started lessons, few years back.
I went for a couple of months but I wasn’t getting enough practice. I’d go back to the next class and there would be kids coming back with songs they’d picked up from the Youtube. I just couldn’t keep up so I decided to take a break and then go back. But it never happened. I have a lovely classical Spanish guitar too, that my parents gifted me when I was 14.
You should go back. It’s never too late.
It hasn’t happened till now but you never know. I love listening to music though. Everything from Classic Rock to whatever was playing when I was growing up. Dire Straits, U2, The Eagles are some of my favourite bands. I was recently introduced to the Blues too. So, it’s a bit of everything.
Well, in my family, my mother is a trained classical singer but I never picked it up.
You’ve been coming to Toit longer than you’ve been teaching. Anything memorable that stands out in all those years?
Most evenings, I either start at Toit or end at Toit.
If I have that one special memory, it was on Diwali a few years back. My parents were visiting from Delhi and I brought them here. You won’t believe how good it felt to introduce them to the staff. Everyone was so nice. They got us a table right away and were so courteous. I so wanted my parents to come to Toit because it’s such an important part of my life. And I felt so good!
Toit has always been my special place. I’m here when I’m happy and I’m here when I’m not so happy!