Crying babies and pregnant guys? Child Development teaches real life lessons like how to care for children, the process of babies births, birth defects and the growth of a child. The course is a half semester class with Mrs. Boehringer and Mrs. Krueger as the teachers.
The most heard popular homework assignments are the empathy belly students have to wear for a day around school and the baby students have to take home and care for, for 48 hours.
“I took the baby home in seventh and eighth grade. I remembered it cried during religious class and prayer and I was so embarrassed,” said Child Development teacher Mrs. Boehringer. “I’ve also put on the baby belly so I know what it feels like. I’ve asked moms who have worn it and they’ve told me it feels very similar to being pregnant.”
The babies vary from boy or girl and multiple races. Four students at a time have the opportunity to sign up for the baby, if they choose not to complete the assignment they have the option of a lengthy alternative assignment that is not appealing to most students.
“When I first got the baby I was so nervous and I was in panic mode because I had no clue how to take care of a baby on my own and what to expect,” said sophomore Catherine Tu. “After the first couple of times the baby cried my heart raced extremely fast because I didn’t know what to do. As the days went on, I understood the routine and got the hang of it.”
The baby has multiple sounds it makes, giving you the chance to tend to it accordingly. Its constant crying is suppose to be preparation for motherhood or a profession that entails working with kids. “My baby woke me up a total of five times during both nights. She would cry at the most inconvenient times. I did feel prepared though because the computerized baby acts like a real life baby. Whatever you do wrong, the real care baby takes note of that,” said Tu.
The empathy belly is an assignment given to students in order for them to understand the struggle of being pregnant. Both boys and girls are supposed to participate in the wearing of a pregnant belly.
“I think it’s great when any young man chooses to wear the belly. Boys are curious as to what girls and women go through. Many times they want to go home and thank their mom for dealing with them, and I think that is so sweet of them,” said Mrs. Boehringer.
It’s similar in the baby assignment in if you choose not to participate they offer another alternative assignment.
“I felt embarrassed and uncomfortable walking through the halls with the belly because everyone stared at me,” said Tu, “It also made me insecure about the way I looked and the name empathy was so true because I really empathized with actual pregnant women.”
Other assignments throughout the year consist of things like making baby books or getting the chance to talk with your parents about your own birth.
“I love teaching child development because there are life lessons and skills that we go over that applies to everyone. Everyone in my class either wants to be a parents, wants to work with children, has siblings, babysits or is around children they can use these skills and knowledge for,” said Mrs. Boehringer. “I love when they want to share what they learned with a parent or friend, it’s so rewarding.”