Looking to learn!?
Have you been out of school for a bit?
Well good news!
Knowing your learning style can make things a whole lot easier.

I’ve been immersed in the birth world now for over 6 years now, as an Educator, Doula and Mentor.   I remember working towards my doula and my educator certification and found myself spending countless hours staring at a page of words and not retain a thing.   When I found myself in a classroom I would find I only retained a small percentage of what I was being taught.  I was frustrated.  Here I was, mid thirties…FINALLY knowing what I wanted to do with my life and I was terrified!  Scared of “class work,” worried about failing tests, and not feeling I would able to get the accreditation to further my career.

Before beginning my journey I had been a stay at home mom of three, running a day care and working part time at a restaurant.  I didn’t leave a book smart career to become a doula… I left “mom” mode, meal prep and nursery rhymes…my brain was on overdrive most days!   My own self doubt nearly prevented me from moving forward!

But I’m so glad I did move forward.  Eventually I learned to walk the walk and not just talk the talk!

My recipe for success was having the right support alongside me and taking the time to learn what my learning style was.

Take a look at the learning style graphic above…did any of them grab your attention? How do you find out which one you are? Here’s a good reference:


and a bit more about different types: https://www.udutu.com/blog/what-are-adult-learning-styles-and-how-do-they-affect-elearning/

Many of us are a combination.

Let me share some tidbits that worked for me, and can maybe help you on your learning journey as well:

  1. Change up your work space:  Maybe on one day you will work best outside, in the basement, at an office desk, or in a library.  Once I even worked in my trailer while camping!  Key points: recognize that you need to avoid interruptions and it may take awhile to get into your groove.
  2. Doodle and/or listen to instrumental music: I needed to keep my hands busy or stimulate another sense to help me retain info.  Sound familiar?
  3. On that same note: I needed to handwrite my study notes. I got in a bad habit of typing everything on my computer or iPhone – it just wasn’t the same! There may be a a huge mental disconnect when you do that.
  4. Move: Stretch, get fresh air, work at a standing desk, sit on an exercise ball.
  5. Dedicated time and accountability: If I didn’t get work done first thing in morning or late at night, it wasn’t happening – I’m a squirrel – everything in the middle distracted me (hence needing different work spaces from time to time).  Schedule your work as an appointment and stick to it!  Buddy up with someone – there were times I would completely and mentally shut down because I would second guess an answer or project.  I needed a few different people on standby to walk me through something or be my “butt kicker.”  We have lots of buddies at Doula Canada!

So, in my examples above, which learning styles did you connect with?  A little bit of all of them right?!

Take a moment and identify what works for you.  See what learning style you think you might be.  Look back at the times you needed to learn something – what worked, what didn’t?

When you are struggling, buddy up!
You are not alone and simple tweaks to your daily habits can break bad habits and keep you moving closer to your goals!  We are here to help!

Jump into our closed Doula Canada Facebook group or our Learning Centre forums and ask a question, send us an email, call us on our toll free number, and…

Stay tuned for more information on a mentorship opportunity with Doula Canada (details coming in October)!

About the author:

Helena McMann has been a Certified Doula and Educator for over 6 years.
She is currently an an Admin Support Person and Student Mentor for Doula Canada.
To date Helena has supported over 200 families through her work as a doula and educator.
We’re a big fan of Helena and all the wonderful things she does for our community!


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