Many childbirth educator training programs advise their trainees to create their own teaching curriculums. The intention behind this approach is that the new educator will intimately understand the content and course structure once they have completed their curriculum.
While it is important to know your material well, writing your own curriculum can be a daunting task, especially when also trying to create and market a new business or find a teaching position.
For new educators, it is much easier to use a professional curriculum than to create your own from scratch. Consider:
1. The Scope
A curriculum can be very long due to the many topics and details that need to be included. Even if you only plan to teach a basic childbirth class, your list of topics will likely include:
- Preparing for Labor
- When Will Labor Begin?
- Hormones and Contractions
- First Stage Labor
- Second Stage Labor
- Third Stage
- Medical Interventions
- Cesarean Birth
- Birth Preferences
- Comfort Measures
If you write your own curriculum, you'll need to do research for each topic, then write detailed notes and organize the information into a logical flow with your lesson plans.
2. The Design
When you create your own curriculum, the structure, topics and other details are completely custom to you. For a niche class, this is helpful. However, most childbirth classes encompass the same basic content. It is the instructor's personality, experience and passion that make the class unique.
Regardless of which type of curriculum you use, it is important to find creative ways to teach and get parents to engage with the content. If writing your own curriculum, this means creating your own activities and handouts and searching for visual aids and props that integrate with your lesson plans.
3. Time Commitment and Discipline
Creating your own curriculum is a process that can take months or years. For most educators to be successful in this task, they must have:
- Research skills to find and review scientific information.
- Organization and note-taking skills.
- Good communication to summarize information in layman's terms for students to comprehend.
- Creativity and attention to detail to create engaging lesson plans.
- Self-discipline to set aside regular time to work on the curriculum.
- Graphic design skills if creating handouts or visual aids.
4. The Trade-Off
For many of us, time is our most limited resource. If you are an independent educator, finding students, identifying a teaching location and networking with other birth professionals are important for creating a successful business. These business growth activities may be pushed aside while you devote your time to curriculum writing. In the end, you'll have a curriculum, but you won't have any students to take your class!
To recap, consider the differences between the two approaches:
It is important to weigh all of this information, consider your budget and choose the best approach for your situation.
For the most ambitious, especially those with the skills, time and experience to tackle writing their own curriculum, we have outlined the steps and provide helpful tips in this blog post.
For more information on the professional curriculums we offer, check out the options available here. Note that we also offer corresponding PowerPoints and parent education books that integrate with our teaching curriculums. Learn more here.