;

Classroom guest gives students a glimpse at life in the workforce

Career and Technical Education students enrolled in the Early Childhood Education program at Oswego County BOCES are preparing for future careers in the field of early childhood education.

Occupation Therapist Rose Miller hands Oswego County BOCES Career and Technical Education student Kayla Lewis, Fulton City School District, a pair of scissors and asks her to cut along a jagged line on a sheet of paper using her less dominate hand and using the scissors upside down. The exercise gave Lewis and her Early Childhood Education classmates an opportunity to understand the difficulties that young children or children with less refined motors skills might face with learning to cut. Miller offered the BOCES students several accommodations to assist young children in the task of cutting including using heavier stock paper or making the cut lines easier – less jagged and more rounded.
Occupation Therapist Rose Miller hands Oswego County BOCES Career and Technical Education student Kayla Lewis, Fulton City School District, a pair of scissors and asks her to cut along a jagged line on a sheet of paper using her less dominate hand and using the scissors upside down. The exercise gave Lewis and her Early Childhood Education classmates an opportunity to understand the difficulties that young children or children with less refined motors skills might face with learning to cut. Miller offered the BOCES students several accommodations to assist young children in the task of cutting including using heavier stock paper or making the cut lines easier – less jagged and more rounded.

Classroom instruction combined with hands-on experience in a variety of work experience settings and with professionals in the field gives high school students an opportunity to learn about many aspects of teaching and working with young children, birth through school age.

One recent classroom experience was a visit by an occupational therapist that was coordinated by the program’s instructor to coincide with the students’ reading of Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper, a novel about a young girl that does not allow Cerebral Palsy to define her.

Rose Miller, the occupational therapist, shared some of her experience in the field as well as the joys and successes of working with young children that have developmental and/or physical disabilities similar to that in the novel.

OCB students explored how to be proactive in the use of technology to help young children communicate and build essential skills.

Additionally Miller shared some activities that occupational therapists use to help young children build gross and fine motor skills as well as strength.

She also gave examples of how to make tasks incrementally challenging and the importance of creating tasks that help young children feel successful and satisfied, instead of frustrated.

Miller also encouraged the high school students to consider a young child’s behavior as a form of communication, saying that occupational therapists often take in an entire situation to analyze what might really be going on with a child.

OCB students related much of Miller’s classroom discussion to the message in the novel as well as could see many ways to foster the growth and abilities of the young children that they work with at the work experience sites.

Career and Technical Education programs at OCB provide secondary students in Oswego County with an opportunity to earn a Regents Diploma and achieve an industry approved credential.

Technical and academic skills are combined in each program, including the Early Childhood Education program, to prepare students for the rigors of college and the workforce.