Communication was the theme of the month in Hospitality and Applied Skills (HaAS) and Career Skills Center classes at Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES Exceptional Children Learning Center (ECLC). Students had participated in a variety of activities centered on the art of communication and how important it is in career development. On March 1, they were well prepared to welcome a communications expert to their classroom: 13 WHAM -TV meteorologist Mark McLean.
Students had just watched McLean on the television noon weathercast and were delighted to meet the local celebrity in person. One student joked, “Look, he’s real!” McLean enjoyed the humor and clearly had fun with his audience. He shared a short video tour of the TV station and students listened closely as he explained some of the challenges of being a professional communicator. He spoke about the behind-the-scenes process of creating a forecast, and brought several forecasting tools, like part of a weather balloon and a rain gauge. Students were intrigued by a demonstration showing how air pressure creates clouds.
McLean gave his listeners an opportunity to ask questions, and curious students took full advantage of it. Questions ranged from “How do clouds stay in the sky?” and “What does a cloud weigh?” to “How do you know what to say when a storm is coming?” and “Will we have a snow day on Friday?”
Career Skills Center teacher Andrew Fowler said, “The entire ECLC community thanks Mr. McLean for taking time out of his busy day to inspire our students!”
The monthly themes used in the Career Skills Center classroom and in teacher Samantha Fowler’s HaAS classes are derived from the Career Development and Occupational Studies New York Learning Standards. They help students become knowledgeable about the world of work, explore career options, and relate personal skills, aptitudes and abilities to future career decisions.