December 22, 2021
Series: Building Your Birth Business - Ten Things Childbirth Educators Should Do at the End of Every Year
By: Sharon Muza, BS, CD/BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE | 1 Comments
If you are anything like me, you are the kind of childbirth educator who uses the time between teaching the last childbirth class of the year in December and the first class of the new year in January to review and refresh your offerings. Here are ten things you can do to make sure you are on top of your game.
1. Update your resource list resources
Do you share resources with the families in your classes? I like to run through all the links of everything I share and make sure that they still work and are accessible. I also want to check that the information is still relevant and supports current best practice and remove outdated materials.
2. Order supplies
I prefer to order the supplies I need for my classes just once or twice a year. I order the handouts, texts and treats that my families receive in big bulk orders so I can store them away and know that I won’t run out when I least expect it.
3. Evaluate learning objectives and activities
It is easy to get into a teaching rut, especially if you have been doing it for a while. Take a look at both your learning objectives and the activities you use to meet those objectives. Confirm that they are still meeting the needs for both families and yourself. Remove activities that feel stale or you no longer enjoy facilitating and stretch yourself by adding something new and fresh. Check out the Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators series for some new ideas if you want.
4. Lock your 2022 class calendar down
Get a big picture look for the entire year and get an idea of how much you want to teach and when. If you haven’t already confirmed dates with your employer, (or yourself, if you are an independent educator), get those classes scheduled. If you are not teaching as much as you want to be, how could you increase your opportunities. If you want to cut back, decide where you will make changes.
5. Schedule your vacations
You should be as committed to scheduling your breaks as you are to scheduling your classes. Take a moment to consider when you might want some time off, and block out that time on your calendar. This way, you won’t accidentally schedule classes and work events when you should be recharging and resting.
6. Thank your referral sources
Word of mouth is the best way to build and maintain robust class enrollment. Take a look at who is referring families to your classes and send them a handwritten note of thanks. (I hope you are tracking this information on your registration page!) You will want to thank both the families who refer your classes to their friends and families along with the professionals in your community who share your information with their clients and patients.
7. Do a racial equity analysis
Confirm that your classes are accessible to all the families who might want to register. Are your fees appropriate? Do you have a scholarship program to help people with financial aid? Are the images you use in your presentations and marketing diverse and reflective of all the people who are having babies. Do you acknowledge in class the inequities that families of color face as a result of medical racism and inequities and provide tools and resources to help BIPOC families have better birth and neonatal outcomes.
8. Review and confirm substitute arrangements
Even though none of us plan to get sick or have a family emergency, we all know that things happen, despite our best intentions. Confirm that you have checked in with the people who can sub for your classes when you are called away unexpectedly, and they are up to speed on your curriculum and class details.
9. Confirm expiration dates
Check the dates that your certifications and memberships expire and make sure you have set reminders to yourself at several points leading up to the important dates. You will want to ensure that you don’t miss any important renewals.
10. Conduct a continuing ed audit
To go along with any membership/cert expirations (see above), make sure you have all the continuing education units you will need to renew any expiring certifications. Take a look at conferences and educational opportunities and decide where you might like to invest your time and money.
TagsChildbirth education Building Your Birth Business Series: Building Your Birth Business childbirth educator Sharon Muza