With the world’s health jeopardised by the twin threats of Covid-19 and the climate crisis, the range of how we deliver our teaching and training has to be expanded if we are to reach families and teachers effectively.
Lockdown revealed a spectrum of approaches to online teaching; from the clammer of the confident to the reluctance of the reticent and everything in between. When Birthlight asked me to create a new blended training using the LearnDash platform I was daunted, to say the least. Blended training combines live online interaction with a supportive learning resources platform. The bonus is that the platform conveniently houses articles, video clips, photos, resources and quizzes for tutors to keep a track of student progress.
I was excited because this was a perfect opportunity to translate BINBY, the new Birthlight Integrated Nurturing Baby Massage and Baby Yoga, training into a new blended format. Encompassing two traditional qualifications of baby massage and baby yoga plus the parent postures, it is an intense training, but being able to space out the meetings and offer online support to guide the teachers through the process is another benefit of blended delivery.
We are all adjusting…..
We are all adjusting to new ways of working together. Feedback from my private classes has revealed hidden gems to online learning. My pregnant mothers enjoy meeting others online while practising in the comfort and safety of their own home, providing an especially nurturing atmosphere during the end-of-session ‘baby—bump bonding’ deep relaxation.
Conversely parents with babies are primed to socialise in person and are eager to get out and meet up with other families, yet in these exceptional circumstances they accept and celebrate the bonding opportunities forged with their baby through practising the Integrated Baby Massage and Baby Yoga practices in familiar surroundings. Feedback received is invaluable in enhancing the Birthlight experience for our families, as are the constructive evaluations from the lovely participants on the training courses.
When signing up for a blended course it is easy to be deterred by the idea of the technology, unfamiliar learning platform and potential lack of personal connection. Fortunately for us we have the Birthlight tech wizard, Jeff, on hand to explain the technology and smooth out any unforeseen issues.
The training arm of Birthlight.com opens up opportunities to a wider range of new teachers; the online factor makes it easier to synchronise with work and personal commitments that time away would make an impossibility. There is a bonus effect on the environment. It may seem obvious but training from home reduces carbon footprint. The recent BINBY training reduced environmental impact by obviating the need for four international flights and over 80 hours of travel time. Without impinging on the quality of teaching, less money is spent on travel and accommodation.
Just as ‘Yoga is a balance’ (1), the new style blended training contains the facets to deliver a neat balance between content, theory, practice and demonstration. Other elements essential in achieving a yogic balance are the incorporation of mini-strain-release yoga and sufficient and timely screen breaks.
Welcoming ‘visiting babies’ is an invaluable experience for trainee teachers, and we can readily invite families to participate from the Covid-safe space of their own home. The new teachers can enjoy the double whammy of practising with ‘real’ families, while seeing how Zoom classes work. Who knows how long online teaching will continue to be a reality?
Essentially the BINBY training and all Birthlight training is about meeting needs. Birthlight is taking the opportunity to push forward and progress as an organisation, evolving new ways of addressing the needs to nurture the well-being of women, babies and new parents.
The next blended BINBY training will be in January 2020.
(1) Bhagavad Gita Chapter 6 Verse 16