If you follow me on Twitter you know my wife and I attended two days of pre-natal classes this weekend. The other option was to attend one night a week for five weeks. Was the one-and-done weekend the better option? I’ll never know. However, I do know that scheduling two days to cover the material was extremely generous. By a full day. On a side note, I also now know that there are people who are actually looking for instructions on how to live their own life. Seriously, two of the questions were, “How long before I’m allowed to leave the house?” and “How long before the baby is allowed to leave the house?” … Wow. Even the instructor was taken aback. I’m all for seeking guidance but this was a bit extreme. Anyway, back to the classes.
Without doubt, the information provided is excellent. When to leave for the hospital, where to show up, what to bring, what to expect during labour, what could happen and the outcomes, what to expect right after delivery, how to get out of the hospital (no kidding, it’s a bit of a process), and what to expect in your first few weeks at home. Perfect, I’m not going to get everything right but at least I’m going to be better prepared. The format, on the other hand, drove me to the point of wanting to leave early – an impulse several people acted on judging by how thin the class was by the end of the second day. Personally, a video that reiterates the same information just presented in a stream of Powerpoint slides doesn’t do anything to enrich my learning. Instead I would have liked to have seen the video first, had the key points recapped, and then had any related questions answered. Or, if a video comes at the end, it should supplement the lesson by showing you the practical application of what you just learned. I’m not an expert on adult education but I’ve attended enough professional development classes to know that this type of format is more engaging and encourages greater participation. Speaking of which, one more thing that would have improved the overall experience would have been a few instructor-led discussions in place of the slide-after-slide list of bullet points. Unfortunately the approach this weekend was a full-on lecture, complete with unopened textbook – similar to that university course you took on theatre sports. And, just like theatre sports, what comes next is going to be improvised. No instructions provided.