A first-class degree holder in Economics, Aramide Akintimehin, embraced a career in training future leaders by dedicating her life to teach primary school pupils.
She earns a living as a primary school teacher while running a free school for out-of-school children – Talent Mine Academy. Aramide said she was prompted to embark on this journey because of the poor quality of education in public schools.
In the course of imparting knowledge in children, Aramide also said she learns from them. She narrated a scenario where she was unable to solve a verbal reasoning question that had already been solved by one of her pupils. She said the pupil explained to her how she arrived at the answer.
TopNaija stories spotlight the journey of Aramide Akintimehin, who has taken teaching as a profession.
Current role: Teacher
Current computer: HP Stream
Current mobile device: iPhone 7 plus
What you want to be remembered for?
Impacting the lives of kids in low-income communities via quality education.
Tell us how you started out and how you got to where you are today?
I started with eight 7up bottles. I would race home after school each day just to teach these eight 7up bottles what my teacher had taught me in class.
I would sing with them, dance with them and arrange those bottles just how I wanted my classroom to be. Fast forward to today, I teach 74 amazing kids and this has been the most fulfilling and rewarding experience ever!
I remember during the break period one day, I stepped out of school just to see some young kids walking aimlessly on the road. I was bothered because of that time, every child ought to be in school. So I walked up to them to ask why they weren’t in school. They explained that their parents do not have money to send them to school. This bothered me much so I decided to start Talent Mine Academy- A tuition-free school where out-of-school children are equipped with basic literacy, numeracy, and digital skills. Also, because we are keen on their wellbeing, we economically empower their parents by providing vocational skills and entrepreneurial skills training for them so that they can sustain their families.
Currently, I work with 20 amazing volunteers and we have 26 kids.
By 2024, we hope to have been established in 7 communities, impacting over 3000 families.
What time do you wake up, and what time do you like to be at your desk?
I wake up daily at 5:45 am and I get to school by 7:45 am.
A brief rundown of your daily routine?
Every single day, I wake up to spend time with God, do my workout, listen to a podcast, invest time with my kids, learn something new, pray and go to bed.
How do you keep track of what you have to do, on a daily basis?
I have a to-do journal where I plan my daily activities.
Tell us about one of the toughest situations you’ve found yourself in business?
The major challenge I faced as a teacher was the language barrier and this affected my relationship with the parents of my kids. However, last year, my kids taught me how to communicate in the common language and now, I have built a great relationship with their parents. Asides this, I have always seen challenges as a learning experience and an opportunity to grow.
What is the best business or career advice you’ve ever received?
Life is a journey. Take one solid step.
What conventional life or business advice do you disagree with?
Heaven helps those who help themselves.
If you had to start all over again, what would you do differently?
Absolutely nothing! Everything I have had to go through made me a better person and I’m grateful for that.
Tell us about your current role and key traits required to succeed in this role.
As a teacher, I have had to improve on myself all the days of my life because I am the comparison factor in my classroom. My kids want to be like me and so if I exhibit a bad trait or habit, they pick it up because I am their hero. This is what many teachers and parents don’t realize. Those kids are watching you and will exhibit whatever you exhibit.
Every teacher needs to be committed to both personal and professional development to excel in this field because the destinies of these kids at this point where they are so vulnerable are ties to us.
You also need a full bucket of PATIENCE and LOVE to succeed.
Tell us about a task you dislike but still do and a problem you’re still trying to solve?
I hate to fundraise but because of the love I have for these kids, I just have to and it has been worth it always. Lately, I have been able to leverage storytelling to raise funds and it has been working.
Who has had the greatest impact on your career, and why?
Oluwaseun Kayode has been my greatest support system in this field.
When I first met him with a lot of ideas in my head and how I planned to run them all, he said to me “Life is a journey, you need to take one solid step at a time”. I will never forget that day. He has consistently supported me with quality professional development which Schoolinka offers. He has also been a great mentor and coach to me by being a key player in looking after my growth and personal development.
What business achievement are you most proud of?
Starting Talent Mine Academy
Tell us about your greatest weakness as an individual.
As an individual, I might just be a perfectionist and this trait almost wear me out because I find myself doing so much when I should delegate. I have 20 amazing volunteers who I work with at Talent Mine Academy and I have successfully created a system that helps me focus more on the strategy rather than operations.
Name two untapped lucrative business opportunities in the world, right now.
Real estate and education technology.
Aside from God, what do you consider your greatest success secret?
What are you currently reading, watching, or listening to?
I am currently reading Commanding your morning by Cindy Trimm, listening to Dunsin Oyekan and Hillsong worship, taking the Unbundling 2020 course and I am watching Self Made.
What tools, gadgets, or apps can’t you do without?
I use my phone and laptop a lot and I cannot do without the You version, Podcast and Mixlr app.
What’s your favorite social media platform, handle, and why?
My favorite social media platform is Instagram (@_aralola). I get to see the content that I attract to myself by following the right people and most importantly, I get to learn a lot from this platform. I learn so much that I have my journal with me always while going through my Instagram timeline.
How do you unwind?
Solitude. I unwind by spending time with myself (just being alone) and listening to Bethel music.
Who would you love to have answered these questions?
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