Family Management covers many content areas including adolescence, interpersonal relationships, and parenting. At Fraser Heights, our Family Management class has the opportunity to participate in Baby Think It Over infant simulations. You can read more about the project here. This is much more than taking care of a sack of flour or an egg – this sophisticated piece of technology mimics the unpredictable schedules that come with taking care of an infant. Students are responsible for taking care of a baby for three days and two nights.
To introduce students to the babies, I have adapted an activity thanks to my colleagues at Enver Creek Secondary – the Baby Relay Race. This physical simulation (as opposed to technological – the babies are turned off) is meant to put students through a typical scenario: you are late for work and you need to take your infant to day care. Unfortunately, all sorts of events happen. Students take turns, in teams, to participate in every problem (I have labelled them as “tasks”) faced in the scenario (see below).
I recently received a comment from another staff member who had heard about a “baby relay race.” He or she exclaimed to me that it was “concerning” and cocked his or her head the side in a “really?” motion. Now, I’m a pretty mellow fellow so I brushed it off with a smile, because I understand that it is natural to jump to conclusions, especially when activities are taken out of context. Naturally, I believe it is important for me to share what this activity entails. I believe that transparency is key in learning environments, and here I attempt to extend this transparency beyond the walls of the classroom. This activity is highly enjoyable, and some students really surprised a lot of us in “Fam Man” (short for Family Management, by the way).