I clocked in with my 20th year as a childbirth educator in January 2023, but I remember my first year of teaching birth classes like it was yesterday! Mostly what stands out is the amount of time that I spent prepping for my childbirth classes. I once calculated that for every minute of teaching, I spent about 10 minutes in pre-class prep.
A two hour class once a week required 20 hours of prep work before I felt ready to go, and even then, I was still all kinds of nervous! That 20 hours included activity prep, handout creation, collation of resources, practicing my activities, refining and reworking, and laminating, so much laminating! This was before slide decks, Canva and all the tools that I enjoy and use to prep for the classes I teach now.
As I gained experience, and developed a robust collection of activities and materials, prep time was greatly reduced. Now, when I start a new class, I mostly need to settle myself in and calm my nerves (yes, I still get pre-class jitters) before I am ready to go, total time investment five minutes! To be honest, I do spend a fair amount of time creating new learning activities, staying up to date on the research and practicing a new idea for the first time, because I enjoy trying new things and it benefits my students, but there is nowhere near as much prep as there was that first year in the field.
I think it is important to remember that humble space that defined my first year as a new childbirth educator and use that memory to help the new educators in my workshops reduce that initial time investment they need as they get started teaching their own classes. Childbirth Education Project provides you with templates, ideas, activities and thoughtful insight on how to adapt what your childbirth education for virtual, in-person and hybrid classes and how to put your own spin on your classes. We provide opportunities to hone your teaching skills in the workshop and offer weekly office hours where you can try out some new ideas and get helpful and honest feedback!
We value the financial and time investment that is required to become a childbirth educator and we want to help you lighten the load with our combined 50 years of teaching experience. A rising tide lifts all boats! When you shine, families are more likely to feel prepared and confident. Remember, Childbirth Education Project has got you!