Reflection: New course

Posted on: 10/07/2011

I write as I am already halfway through my third and last course prior to submitting my entire diploma.

I have 4 1/2 couples (the remaining half is an ex-pat in the Middle East, and I am sincerely hoping we will have the pleasure of his company next time).  All of them seem to be lovely, normal, and game to give everything a try.   This is great news for me and for teaching them. They are like sponges, soaking up everything we cover.  It has been very rewarding for me.

I wonder, though, is this luck or good teaching?  I did do a better job at explaining what’s going on during introductions, as well as explaining how one of the NCT’s prime objectives is informed decision-making and a smooth journey into parenthood.  Maybe they took that on board exactly how I hoped they would.

I also feel much happier with the activities I am doing.  They are neat and tidy, I feel they work well, and I am better organised than I was last time round (something the assessor mentioned in my last course).  Better still, I’m mixing up antenatal and postnatal activities, since it helps to keep a good balance of what’s important. After all, labour is one event, and parenting lasts a lifetime.  Mixing up the activities shows that there is a good balance of content throughout the course.  I’ve heard people complain about not doing enough postnatal stuff if you mix it in, but I’ve been careful to acknowledge what we’ve covered from the original agenda setting exercise at the beginning of the course, and show the items on the list being crossed off from session to session.  It also stops stuff from getting too samey.

Another thing that went down brilliantly was having a decent shared lunch in the middle of the session.  I allocated an hour for lunch, and everybody helped out bringing stuff  and setting up. We had the branch volunteers come and talk to us at the same time, and everyone was getting on like a house on fire – I was even praised for it  on my mid-course evaluation.

It was also really great to see the men getting on so well.  After one coffee break, I had to drag them back inside, they were getting so involved in their conversation.  Wonderful.

image courtesy of

image courtesy of

I heard from other teachers that an intensive format (the bulk of this course is being taught over two 6-hour Saturdays) can be difficult for bonding, but it doesn’t seem to be a problem here.  Whether it’s down to luck or judgement I’m not sure, but I’m certainly glad things are going so well.

We’ve ranged from easy topics (straightforward labour, practical babycare, safe sleeping) to more challenging ones, and whilst it was clear that subjects such as interventions and caesarean were quite a lot to take in, they still listened, asked questions and kept an open mind right the way through – though they were relieved to go onto some lighter stuff straight after!

I had one negative comment on my evaluation forms, which was that at one point I seemed a little disorganised (my epidural kit had gone missing – I found it shortly afterwards). And no doubt I can be better organised.  But, for now, I know that I’m a lot more organised than last time and the time before, and so I’m happy to keep trying to improve for now.  Who knows? Maybe my next session will be perfectly organised!

All in all, though, I’m delighted with the way this course is going.  I’m really enjoying it, and I also feel like I am making a difference to these people.  It’s exhausting teaching for six hours straight, but I do like the format in spite of that.

I hope I am still this positive after next weeks class. The ex-pat is due to return to the UK this week, although it’s unclear whether he will be able to make time for the course… if he does come, it may upset the balance, I’m just not sure yet!  But I’m not going to worry about that just yet. It will be what it is, and that will be fine.


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