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MEET OUR VOLUNTEERS!
(Descriptions adapted from this post with permission from Babywearing International & Jennah Watters.)
Babywearing International of Phoenix is made up entirely of volunteers! scenes to keep our Chapter going, but our Educators are also tested on their babywearing skill and knowledge. Accreditation is awarded after an applicant completes a thorough training process on a variety of carrier styles, and has demonstrated the ability to provide accurate information, offer options and tweaks, teach safe and supportive positioning, and help parents and caregivers in a variety of situations. All of our volunteers have their specialties, but each is proficient in many methods of babywearing and happy to share! Now for those letters...
Sooooo... what do all of those letters mean?
Advanced Babywearing Educator | ABE
In position as an active Educator for at least six months, a VBE may choose to serve in an expanded role. This step requires a board-approved project and another, more in depth assessment. In addition to the basics they were tested on before, ABEs are required to know more about all the carries and carriers, and be familiar with the basics of tandem babywearing and other advanced practices. ABEs provide support in training and mentoring for new VBEs in our Chapter and and sometimes nearby Chapters, and may serve in the role of Regional Director or participate in Babywearing International committees.
Master Babywearing Educator | MBE
Volunteers may apply to become MBEs after serving a minimum of six months as an ABE; the MBE is currently our highest level of accreditation within Babywearing International. MBEs again complete a board-approved project, written assessment, and in-person skills assessment. MBEs serve BWI, as a whole, often at an organizational level, and assist with the advancement of BWI’s mission to provide babywearing education and support in their communities and beyond. MBEs mentor and assess for all chapters, with focus on teaching and training new volunteers and handling especially tricky teaching situations.
Volunteer Babywearing Educator | VBE
The VBE is proficient with their chosen style of carrier and also knowledgeable about other types of carriers; VBEs must pass a written assessment that demonstrates basic knowledge of all types of carriers and safe babywearing, as well as good communication and teaching ability. Potential candidates begin the process by completing an interest form, then are paired up with an assigned Mentor to begin training in areas where additional knowledge is needed. When the Mentor feels the trainee is ready, an official recommendation is made, and the prospective VBE submits a written application and meets with a Master Babywearing Educator for a skills assessment (either in-person or via video conference). At this time, they are asked to demonstrate various carries and carriers, to describe how they would teach someone else to use those carries or carriers, and to troubleshoot hypothetical problems that we often encounter while supporting parents and caregivers. At meetings, you will find our Educators dressed in purple or purple tie-dye shirts, regardless of “rank”! We often refer to all of our Educators as "VBEs" - everyone starts here.
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