We had the good fortune of connecting with Marney Sobel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marney, what do you attribute your success to?
I think there are many important factors behind my success and the success of my brand. The most important one is most definitely passion. I strongly believe in my product and love what I do. When your heart beats for a certain cause, you’re undefeatable. I believe that passion is a guarantee that you will still persevere as long as takes to be successful. I also think that authenticity, motivation, courage, and communication skills have helped me a great deal.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
With over fifteen years of teaching experience and taking some time off, I realized that no matter what I do it must remain in the field of education. Watching my own son not being fond of school and working in the system myself for so many years, I knew it was flawed. Not all kids learn the same, but what they do have in common is they all want to be loved, heard, and seen. Test taking, essay writing, and sitting in a classroom, listening to a lecture for an hour is not suitable for every child. Throughout my career as a teacher, I did everything in my power to make my lessons interesting and fun, however there are certain curriculums that must be followed. Over the past year, I started to think about what I really wanted. I knew that I wanted to continue working with kids, but not in a traditional school setting. I was watching my own three children, ages, 16, 15, and 9 on Zoom everyday during the pandemic and felt that there is a need for something more. I started running book clubs for kids from my home. These book clubs became a safe place for kids in which they fell in love with reading, discussing and analyzing stories, laughing, enjoying snack time together, retelling or even commiserating about their day, etc. These kids would tell me they never liked to read, but saw it in a whole new light now. Kids of all ages today are consumed with technology and social platforms. I constantly have debates with people how technology may be helpful in some ways, but for the most part it has taken away an innocence from children’s lives. They have access to everything. As parents we have to constantly worry about putting restrictions on devices so our children don’t have access to certain content. Reading has become a thing of the past. Simple things like talking, baking, and genuinely connecting are practically alien. Competing with Instagram, SnapChat and TikTok are challenging, but I am doing it. I see kids of all age groups almost everyday. I do everything in my power to make them feel heard and loved. I see them and listen to them. It is not for grades. It is not for a medal or reward. It just is. I see so many children a week now, whether if it is for one on one or group tutoring, book club, hosting a birthday party, or bake and read club, or most currently, running a summer camp. All of my programs are education related, but the way I believe education to truly be. Is it easy? No. It’s exhausting, loud, emotional at times, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I am in my element and happiest knowing that I have touched the life of a child, brought them back to real life and taken them away from a screen. For this, I am most proud. The future and possibilities are endless. “Teachers have three loves: love of learning, love of learners, and the love of bringing the first two loves together. Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for today. I am not a teacher, but an awakener. The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.”
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is a funny question since I not only very recently just moved to Los Angeles, but to the United States. Seven months after I relocated my whole family here, the Covid-19 Pandemic hit. I do not have much experience, but I do however have some things I absolutely like to do. This is a city of discovery. I discover different parts of LA on a weekly basis and can’t wait to explore more. What I love most is getting into the car and simply being visually stimulated by the beauty of the raw nature of California. It amazes me how within a couple of hours you can see the contrast between the beach and snow covered mountains. You can visit and explore some of the trendiest restaurants, but also eat really well at a local taco shop in sweatpants and flip flops (my new favorite wardrobe). Many friends have already come to visit me and we simply get in the car and drive. No matter what we do or where we go, there is always something incredible to discover in this city! Now that the pandemic restrictions are slowly lifting and we are hopefully in a healthier place, LA will see much more of me and I can’t wait!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Most definitely! If it were not for the parents in my community that believed in my vision, none of what I do would be possible. If it were not for the children; my students that are so eager, hopeful, put a smile on my face, and challenge me, Marney’s would not exist. The encouragement from all the women in my life, including my loving mother and beautiful sister, my lifelong friendships and newer friendships, in both Montreal and LA fuel me. My own three extraordinary children also play a large part in my mission. They most definitely open my eyes to many possibilities. Finally, my partner, Max Abadian; his optimism, constant encouragement support and love push me to be better.