Class 1 will be held in-person. Classes 2-5 will be conducted virtually (using Zoom) & there will be an option of also doing our final class in-person (TBD by group demand).
* For anyone who is unable to attend in-person, I've got you covered! Please contact me to discuss your options.
Here are the reasons why I've decided to continue teaching most of my classes virtually:
The Content Translates Well
Using Zoom, I am able to very effectively use various teaching aids such as posters (scanned), photos & images, teaching models, videos and powerpoint presentations to keep the delivery interesting & dynamic.
I'd even argue that many students have a better view for most things (compared to trying to view while sitting across the room)!
I've also had many students now cast or project their screen onto their tv so that it feels more like they're in the room or that they're casually watching an interactive documentary or movie (rather than staring at a computer screen).
While many people are keen to get back to meeting in-person, others still prefer virtual classes!
Accessibility - My classes are accessible to more people. Virtual classes allow access to people who normally wouldn't commute to Vancouver every week to attend.
Comfort - Nothing beats the comfort of your own home. Most of my students have really loved being able to get cozy either on their sofa or in their beds at the end of class for the hypnosis session (& not having to pack up at the end of class and drive home!). Being comfortable at home in the evenings when you're already tired from being pregnant is definitely a game-changer.
Illness - When class is virtual, it means you don't have to miss out if you don't want to! And by today's standards that could mean even mild symptoms (or a one-off like a sore throat) would mean missing out.
Travel - I've had students attend class while on vacation or even attend separately when one person has had to be away from home.
Older Kids - Virtual classes has meant that families expecting baby #2+ have both been able to attend. With their system on mute, both parents can listen to class while their other child plays in the background and one parent can jump out to do bedtime and then seamlessly join again afterwards.
Connection - The main thing I've been consistently hearing from people is the concern around connecting with other parents in the group. I get it, so many pregnant people are often hoping to meet others who will have babies around the same age.
People also want to feel connected to their instructor - to know that they can easily have their questions answered and have some personalized interaction as well.
So this is where I've been focusing my attention since early 2020: on HOW we can foster that connection. And it's been working.
Additional Benefits (for me!)
More time with my family - many people don't realize that I actually live in Squamish. Teaching one class in Vancouver is a full 8+ hour day. With virtual classes, I can literally eat dinner early with my family and still be in our home office preparing for class with a half an hour to spare (& be in bed by 10pm!).
Costs - Time costs (see above) are a factor but also fiscal costs such as gas, additional car insurance required for the regular commute, Professional Liability Insurance required for teaching/using a space, rent, parking, etc
More on Fostering Connection
This is what I'm doing for each of my groups:
The virtual "Meet & Greet"
The week before our official class start date, I'm facilitating a "Meet & Greet" session for each group where we strictly focus on introductions. Before this session, I email the group reminding everyone to consider what sort of things they are interested in learning about each other and consider sharing those details.
I've had groups where people are sharing where they've grown up, gone to university, what they studied, their pets and family backgrounds, etc. It's been wonderful!
After our Meet & Greet session, I create a WhatsApp chat group for each group. I then encourage everyone in the group to repost a short summary of their introduction along with a photo to refresh everyone's memories.
* These groups have been super active! Resources being shared, questions and interactions and the most fun of all (for me) is seeing all the birth announcements eventually come through. I've even had groups sharing in their postpartum experiences and supporting each other that way.
I do my best to ensure that each of my students feels that they can have any of their questions answered, anytime. I strive to make myself very available to my students in whatever way they need me; whether it's scheduling a phone call, answering questions via message or email or constantly checking in while we go through the classes.
* I also remind my students that I login and launch the class at least 5 minutes early and am also always available (quick message is all that's needed) to login earlier for discussion or questions.
Thanks Jenn for your passion and enthusiasm. You really brought the content alive!
We also really enjoyed the virtual experience & recognize it's not easy to keep things entertaining - you nailed it!
We will miss our Thursday evenings together!
Thanks for putting so much energy into the classes - you had us genuinely laughing and looking forward to class each week.
We just wanted to thank YOU for such a fantastic experience we had with you and the Hypnobabies course. We got so much out of it, and could feel your passion for the work throughout. It honestly changed my whole mindset around birthing, and I’m actually looking forward to the ‘adventure’ in a very different way than I had thought possible.