Saturday, 23rd September 2023

‘I am intentional about raising purposeful children’

By Ijeoma Thomas-Odia
06 May 2023   |   4:08 am
Oluwatoyin Osagie-Oboh has a strong passion for teaching and learning. As a seasoned educationist with drive to impact the lives of younger generations, she holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Ambrose Ali University...

Oluwatoyin Osagie-Oboh has a strong passion for teaching and learning. As a seasoned educationist with drive to impact the lives of younger generations, she holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Ambrose Ali University, a Diploma in Montessori Education, Modern Montessori International; a Post Graduate Diploma in Education, University of Nottingham; and a Fellow of the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants (ACCA).
As Director of Jewels Leading Lights Academy, she works with educational committees and advisory groups within and outside the school community to design most appropriate curricula to meet the needs of the 21st-century learning goals. Through her various platforms; Discipleship Academy, The Parenting Makeover MasterClass and The Leading light Bible club, she is raising wholesome children and teens. Author of Discipline the key to successful parenting, she is a certified John Maxwell Parenting and Family Coach and proficient in resource management, and organisational growth strategies. In this interview with IJEOMA THOMAS-ODIA, she shares her passion for grooming young people.

Take us through your career journey.
I Embarked on this journey 10 years ago and I had one thing in mind – use discipleship parenting to help parents (myself included) raise kids who love Jesus. So, I started a Bible club named Leading Lights Children Bible Club. It was all in my living room with just a few children.

Over time, as God would have it, our number grew so much the living room became too small and I had to rent a bigger space. I felt the need to start up a Christian school where the Scriptures and Christian doctrines could be infused into the curriculum. This became a reality in 2013 when Jewels Leading Lights Academy came into existence. Today, it has grown into a beautiful Christian educational institution comprised of a Crèche, Early Years section, Grade School, and High School.

Outside the aforementioned, I run an academy called Discipleship Academy, an offshoot of the Bible Club. Discipleship Academy is split into two arms: Discipleship Children Academy, and the Discipleship Teens Academy. In both academies, we teach God’s word in a fun and impactful way tailored to fit the desires of the contemporary child. Our utmost desire is to raise a set of children that love God, and live a life that makes them exemplary.

I believe strongly that God’s design for parenting expands far beyond childbearing. This is why I also run a series of parental Masterclasses for parents, teaching them how to raise Godly and outstanding children in our present world. The Holy Scriptures clearly encourages a strong parental role in a child’s spiritual direction. Parental influence is paramount in shaping a child’s worldview and this has been the major inspiration behind the Masterclasses and the Discipleship Academy.

As a seasoned educationist passionate about driving digital transformation in education, how are you achieving this?
A lot has to do with the people who impart knowledge, the educators. The 21st century educator is worlds apart from what was obtainable towards the end of the last century when people my age had pre-tertiary education. The world has changed real fast, and it’s not just about having the raw knowledge, but understanding the medium or media of knowledge transmission best suited for the present age.

As such, I am constantly organising workshops and trainings for my staff. Whenever learners are on holidays or we are not too swamped with work, we take trainings that keep us at our best. I try as much as possible to keep educators abreast of digital trends in education across the world.

As a parenting coach, what do you consider a major concern in these changing times?
In a generation exposed to a deluge of information on how to parent kids, parents struggle to find their own unique ways of parenting. Parents in this generation are a lot more educated than those of previous generations. However, the availability of differing points of view on the same topic can lead to information overload. There is no one-size-fits-all mantra, but the barrage of conflicting advice readily available out there leaves many parents confused on which to follow.

You founded two academies, a club, and also hold a masterclass. What are the common grounds for them all?
I am intentional about raising purposeful children who will stand as light in this crooked and perverse generation. This is the common ground for everything I do.

What do you consider a major challenge for educators in recent times?
Foremost for me will be the challenge of balancing different learning styles in a class where there are diverse learners. Then, there is the constant evolution in educational trend and technology. The speed at which technology and educational solutions are reeled out makes it hard for educators to adopt easy yet effective platforms to manage classrooms and the teaching process. Educators need to research new trends in education and technology on a weekly basis in a bid to stay informed. This can be really time consuming.

You have written a book to inspire and educate parents, what informed it?
My book, Is your Parenting on Track? was conceived based on the need to correct the worrisome assumptions many parents come up with in their parenting journey. Many erroneously assume their parenting is on track when the opposite is the case. These assumptions, though born of the best intentions, can be extremely costly, leading to negative end results.

The book is written for parents who are desperate to see their children thrive in a crooked and perverse generation. Parents who understand their children can be more. Parents who understand there is a price to pay in raising children who will show forth God’s glory; parents who are willing to pay the price and receive God’s grace to run. The book gives parents the opportunity to correct patterns, and restructure parenting methods and approach in a bid to raise children that will stand out in all walks of life.

How do you get inspiration and stay motivated?
I try to always find my ‘why’. I am ever conscious that my purpose is to help others become great and the best versions of themselves. This consciousness constantly helps me get back on track and stay motivated. As regards inspiration, I draw mine foremost from God, the One who we all look up to for strength and wisdom. I also draw inspiration from the lives of great men and women who have done exceptional things in their lifetimes, or who currently are affecting humanity in outstanding ways. There is no better way to grow than to look to the lives of exceptional minds, and emulate that, which would help us in our journey.

What tips do you have for younger women struggling to get a hold of their career?
Always be eager to acquire more knowledge because learning never stops. Try to network and connect with other women creating meaningful sisterhood. Criticism helps you grow: learn to accept it. You must keep emotions aside and use criticisms as an opportunity to grow and better yourself. Constant learning, I reiterate, keeps you distinguished from the crowd. There is always something out there to learn, find it.

How have you been able to combine family life, being an author, coach and educator, and still be your best?
I have over the years been able to build a wonderful team that helps me give my best. I also have a very supportive family in my dear husband and my wonderful kids who are the best any mother could ever wish for. Having such a support system around one, and knowing how well to manage them such that no one feels left out, makes dreams possible.

What is your life’s mantra?
Your one job on earth is to live your life to the fullest before that final breath.

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