Adapting well after a year


Cheng conducting an online class using the professional microphone, LED desk lamp and LED live streaming light that she bought to enhance her students’ learning experience. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

After several rounds of the movement control order, career women working from home have adapted to the new normal.

Lecturer Sumiko Cheng Chun Yi from Penang is one such person who has transformed her living room into a mini studio-cum- workplace.

Besides conducting online classes at home, she also has to keep an eye on her two sons aged four and six.

“I have changed my mindset as I have been working from home for almost a year.

“I prepare different kinds of activities for my children and teach them to learn independently.

“Since my husband is also working from home most of the time, he will take care of the kids when I conduct my online lessons.

Content creator Hong helping her five-year-old son with his lessons at home.Content creator Hong helping her five-year-old son with his lessons at home.

“I thank him for being so supportive in sharing the workload which makes things easier for me,” she said when met at her home in Butterworth.

Cheng said her elder son had been managing his online lessons well as he could key in the meeting ID and password on his own.

Her younger son still needs minor assistance.

“During the lessons, the teacher guides them well and they are able to follow the instructions,” she said.

Cheng teaches personal development skills and tourism related subjects.

To enhance her students’ online learning experience, she even invested in a professional microphone, an LED desk lamp and an LED live streaming light.

“I bought these gadgets because I want my students to see me and listen to me clearly.

“I also use different online tools, applications and activities just to ensure my lessons can be delivered in a lively manner.

“I even use virtual games to engage my students, build their team spirit as well as improve their communication and critical thinking skills.

“This is to prepare them to face any eventuality in their careers,” she said.

Cheng, who is a teacher at UOW Malaysia KDU School of Hospitality, Tourism, and Culinary Arts, said her students were coping better now.

During MCO 1.0, some of her students struggled with poor network coverage.

“They could not load the materials such as slides or videos.

“Some students who used data plans were unable to participate actively in some activities.

Cheng preparing meals for her two children.Cheng preparing meals for her two children.

“However, they were able to overcome their difficulties and are handling the subjects well.

“They will inform me during class or in our WhatApps group if they face difficulties,” she said.

Another career woman adapting to changes is content creator Gaylen Hong, 37.

She considers herself blessed with flexible working hours as she has to take care of two children aged five and 12.

“It’s difficult to juggle my work and babysit two kids at home all day.

“I have to sit with them to ensure they study. It was hard and tedious at first.

“However, after some time,

I managed to get a ‘schedule’ going and find a rhythm to make things easier,” she said.

Hong said she would start her work only after settling the children’s lessons and cooking for them.

Since Hong is not familiar with the Chinese language, she found it tough to teach her children that subject.

“I’d have to refer to Google translate or ask their father to step in.

“On a positive note, I am learning new Chinese characters and phrases every day.

“My elder child is rather independent when it comes to her studies and I do not have to worry much about her.

“I have more trouble with my five-year-old son as his attention span is very short,” she said.

At the end of the day, Hong is just thankful she can complete her job tasks on time.

“As long as I can do that, I am fine,” she said.

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