By Ramona Diaz, FCSN South Bay Adult Day Program Teacher
I have two years and a half working with FCSN. Through the years I developed passion and love working with our clients. The big leap to virtual classes was a big challenge. I have three girls that take up my time, and my two older ones also have online classes that require my assistance. Dividing my time between supporting my daughter’s online classes and attending to our client’s virtual classes was really difficult. Not to discount the fact that my youngest daughter is only nine months old that I am still wet-nursing and requires my attention. At first, I thought working from home might be easier, but I was wrong. I soon realized it was harder. However, I found joy being with my three daughters and clients at the same time.
At the beginning I questioned myself about how would I be able to work online with only have one laptop at home. My daughters needed one. FCSN was so kind enough to lend me a laptop. I was so happy that FCSN made it easy for me. Doing the online classes reminded me of my school days. It was more time consuming and so different from a live class. For these virtual classes, I wanted to give the best quality of service, so every day I worked to find different ways to develop and present new ideas and projects for our clients.
During the process of preparing for virtual classes, I was clueless on what to teach and how to present my lessons. I am not a “techy” person, and using the Zoom platform was alien to me. With the support of my colleagues, each day became easier.
When the virtual classes started, at the beginning of the day assigned to me, I reminded clients of the virtual class rules, especially hand-raising before talking. During the first few days, it was chaotic because everyone wanted to speak at the same times. Clients had missed each other and were so excited to see their friends on screen. I was also nervous because I knew that some parents were sitting next to clients, guiding them and watching our lesson presentation. This made me work even harder, going the extra mile to present a good lesson. Clients got excited participating in stretching, performing arts, body percussion, cooking, and Zumba, among other classes FCSN offered.
I was really very happy to see their faces all together on screen, even though we were apart. Clients kept asking, “When will the Day Program reopen?” I felt so badly when I could not provide definite answers. I kept telling myself, “Soon” to help me manage my own desire for the Day Program’s return. Working during this Shelter in Place order is something new, and my family has become accustomed to the routine we established. Now my girls say, “Mom, your meeting!” or “Mom, you are going to start work soon.“