Anticipatory Sets

a 10 pound slice

a 10 pound slice

Some of you may remember the days of Madeline Hunter’s lesson plan format.  It is still used widely to create an awesome lesson plan.  There was a day 26 years ago that I had the best anticipatory set of my life.

After the birth of my daughter Emily, I had many jobs.  I stayed home for approximately one year and taught mom and tot swimming at our local YMCA, taught classes for teachers on sabbatical at a local college, supervised student teachers and taught Lamaze classes at our local hospital.  I loved teaching Lamaze because I had so much fun team teaching with a nurse who worked in labor and delivery.  We were a great team because I understood how to plan lessons, use visuals and make everything as interactive as possible.  She understood the birthing process because she lived it every single day.  The best part team teaching as many of you know is laughing some days very hysterically!

A year of being at semi at home was enough and I went back to my teaching world, but I still loved teaching Lamaze with Linda so I continued in the night program.  I have always been fascinated by blood and guts so one of my favorite nights was when we compared the placentas…one of a smoker and one of a non-smoker.  The smoker’s placenta was always smaller and it looked like it went through a war.  In comparison the nonsmoker’s placenta was bright pink, larger and definitely healthier.  One night we were showing them and as we took them out of the bag that was fresh from the nursery, they splattered throughout the room.  I started laughing, but Linda was upset.  These years marked the beginning of AIDs awareness.  That really was the last time we were able to show live placentas.  Countless funny events occurred in the six years I did these classes.  Once we had a class with a person brought down from the birthing suite, though she was on an IV and in on gurney.  She didn’t want to miss the last class and needed the cheer of her new friends.

The eight week session that I treasured most was when my best friends were in my class having their very first baby.  It was an interesting group, a little tense.  We had one of the top administrators and his wife in the group and he let everyone, including me know it.  Of course Linda, my trusty partner in crime was a wee bit nervous as well.  Oh, and then there was me, nine months pregnant and counting.  I couldn’t wear shoes any longer, just clip clops, as I call them.  I only had one pair of maternity pants left and I was refusing to buy any more maternity clothes.  My back hurt, my knees hurt, and most days I felt like I should be wearing the diaper.

And on top of all of it, I always like to perform in front of administrators…it really brings out the actress in me.

Well the scene is set, everything is quiet in the house, oh I mean the hospital.  The lights dim and I begin my lesson on SIGNS AND STAGES OF LABOR AND DELIVERY.  Ready, action… and there was action.  My grey pants  were turning black from the crotch down.

I spoke to my audience, “I am having a sign now, any guesses?”  Blank looks, troubled looks, looks that said they knew nothing about what I was talking about, including the administrator.  Except one sweet voice from the back…she was the lone person who was having her second baby. “Did your bag of waters just rupture?” I remember her saying it so calmly.

Ahhh yes…she was right.  Linda said, “let me finish the lecture, call Dave and ask him if you can stay until we finish the exercises…you do a great job doing that.”

Shock and awe from the crowd.  It was the best anticipatory set of my life and everyone, including the administrator,  diligently  practiced their exercises knowing now, that most definitely that they don’t call it ‘labor for nothing’ .

When I returned to the class two weeks later, they were a different crowd.  Calm, happy…definitely schooled and ready !


About Nanc

lifelong teacher who is semi-retired (does this sound better?) who loves God, family and laughing... who hates social injustice... who wants to write every day... who needs to exercise every day... who blog hops... who wants to live her everyday life led by her savior, Jesus Christ!

11 responses »

  1. Yes, I too entered my teaching career with Madeline Hunter. YOU are a great story teller. I enjoyed your post and admire your ability to make your writing flow. This is something I am working on.

  2. This is probably one of the most real posts I have read this month! so many years later, and you still remember the details so vividly! I am sure your children will appreciate having this story in writing. Very engaging.

  3. You couldn’t have planned that. The best life lessons are unplanned. I had all three of my daughters using Lamaze and at one time wanted to be an instructor. Is anyone doing this anymore?

  4. You tell some of the funniest stories! This one goes pretty close to the top of the list. I did Madeline Hunter too, and I think this is a perfect example of anticipatory set!

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