Test of parenthood

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Medical Academy instructor Ms. Paramore assigned her medical students a project called “My Life Management Skills.” Sixteen students, all in Ms. Paramore’s second period, participated in the “Parenting Project.”

In an email to the staff, Ms. Paramore said she wanted to teach students what it feels like to have a baby early in life.

“This assignment is a state requirement, it’s going to help kids practice if they get older and have kids,” said Ms. Paramore. “I hope this assignment try and change the kids mind about having kids.”

“Having to care of the baby was a memorable experience and it really taught us the struggles of a persons day-to-day life taking care of an infant,” said  Brianna Milena a student in the Medical program.

The students were required to carry the dolls for three days. During times when the students were not in class, they would get alerts about the needs of their babies.

“It was hard, I had to wake up early. Me and some friends had to take turns waking each other up just so we wouldn’t miss a text,” said Chinaya Isnadin one of the students who participated in the project.

They were to take the baby with them everywhere except the restroom — “infection control,” Ms. Paramore said. She asked teachers to let her know if students left their baby dolls unattended or were neglectful with their dolls, “such as leaving them on the desk, on the floor or throwing them around.”

In another staff email she said, “I think the fact that students knew I had eyes everywhere…helped! I told them if I received any reports…that was a deduction of their project grade.”

The end result, she said, “was majority if not all students agreed that parenting is hard (they only got 20-30 percent of a real experience) and they can wait on babies!”

Romario Renny, a student  in the Medical program, said it showed him that “parenthood  isn’t easy” and that a baby is also a lot of responsibility.

“It was definitely something I had to get use to and fit into my schedule for those 3 days and it was also fun because it was like carrying a mini me,” said Jerkayla Council a Medical student in Ms. Paramore’s second period.

Career Coordinator Nurse Blair and fellow Medical Academy instructor Ms. Graham have conducted the Parenting Project with their  students, “so I thought it’ll be a great idea for me to do it,” said Ms. Paramore.

She said she plans to repeat “My Life Management Skills” in all her classes next semester, “for a whole week instead of three days.”

“Thank you to Ms. Blair and Ms. Graham,” she said, “for originally starting this project and getting the tools needed.”