Autism newsletter 2020 August LR - Flipbook - Page 7
CIRCUIT BREAKER SPECIAL EDITION
Adjusting to a New “Normal”
During the Circuit Breaker (CB) period, many of our staff had to
learn new routines. Working from home became a balancing act
for many, especially those with young school-age going children
who were also staying home doing Home-Based Learning (HBL).
Staff had to also give up their regular outdoor fitness and exercise
routines. Most of all, the staff missed the personal face-to-face
interactions with their students/clients.
We interviewed two of our staff Mr Tan Wei Wen (WW) from
Eden Centre for Adults (Clementi) and Ms Tan Tong Xin (TX)
from Eden Children’s Centre on their experiences during the CB
Coach Wei Wen working from home.
1. How did you manage your well-being during this CB?
WW: I stayed connected socially with my friends and colleagues through video conferencing. I also completed my reading of “The
7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey. I did brisk walking or jogging around my home vicinity during my free time.
TX: I continued to maintain the same regular sleep and wake routines that I had before CB, and practiced good work-life balance. I
focused on work-related tasks from 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays, and stayed focused and productive. I spend the rest of the day and the
weekends catching up on the things that I enjoy.
2. What was the difference between working on-site and working from home?
WW: I saved on travelling time, as I no longer needed to commute to work. I could dress in more comfortable casual clothing. I was
unable to interact face-to-face with my clients and their families. It made it more difficult for me to guide them in their learning.
TX: Working in the centre meant that I had access to all my teaching materials and resources. The greatest difference for me is that I
was spending more time with the parents and caregivers rather than with my clients. I guided them on how they could better interact
and engage with their children at home. I found this quite difficult as I had to produce instructional videos, break down lesson plans
into simple steps, and be available to parents who may need more support in conducting the home-based lessons. It was extremely
fulfilling though to see parents successfully coaching their children. I’ve grown much closer to my parents too, and better understood
how my clients coped at home.
3. Could you share some reflections about your experiences during this CB?
Teacher Tong Xin with her fellow colleagues during their online meeting.
WW: It has been a learning experience for all of
us; balancing working from home and delivering
adequate and professional services to our clients
and their families. We all learnt new ways of
TX: This is a really tough period for the parents
and caregivers, as they needed to attend to their
own personal work commitments as well as
play the role of home coach to their children. It
was heartwarming to see parents and caregivers
trying their best to engage their children despite
their hectic schedule.
On a personal level, I had more time to recharge
and review my teaching skills. But regardless, I
can’t wait for the HBL period to end, so that I
can return to the centre to be with my clients!