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Conversation Scenarios
Conversation Scenarios
The following scenarios will help you as you address topics related to the Individual Pathways Plan with your children:
 
 
Scenario #1 (Amir)
 
Amir is currently in Grade 8 and needs to select his secondary school courses for next year. His teacher has recommended that he choose the applied course type for English which will support his learning style and help him to be successful. Amir has heard from his friend that if he chooses an applied subject, he will narrow options for himself in future grades. Amir doesn’t know what to choose.
 
Suggested Response
 
Encourage Amir to think about his preferred learning style. If he can be more successful in Applied English, he’ll increase his potential for success in that and other subjects.
 
Students are encouraged to take a combination of applied and academic courses depending on how they learn best in each subject area. Students can transition from an applied to an academic course. However, some students prefer to stay in the applied course type for particular subjects if they’re finding success.
 
Throughout secondary school, students work with their guidance counsellors to make sure they have all of the courses they need for their initial post-secondary school destination.  Please refer to Organization of Secondary School Courses for more information about course types.   
 
Scenario #2 (Julie)
 
Julie asks why she has to start working on her IPP in Grade 7. “Isn’t it too early to start thinking about my future and making specific decisions?”
 
Suggested Response
 
Support Julie in understanding that she’s not making firm decisions. The IPP is intended to change over time. Every time she comes back to it, she’ll be investigating new areas of interest, and updating and changing her thinking. She’ll be continuously reflecting on the four key questions, addressing what types of experiences she may be well suited for and what she might like to try on her pathways journey.
 
The purpose of the IPP is not to create a finished product but to embrace a mindset of exploration that will affect her current and future experiences. When students consistently plan and set goals for themselves, they’re more apt to work towards them.
 
Scenario #3 (Zahira)
 
Zahira is a Grade 10 student who has just attended a presentation at her school about the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship program (OYAP). She has learned about all of the apprenticeable trades and is particularly excited about the prospect of starting her training and hours towards a Level 1 Apprenticeship in Auto-Mechanics while still in secondary school. Up until now, she had not thought about apprenticeship as a post-secondary option and is concerned about making a meaningful choice.
 
Suggested Response
 
Engage Zahira in conversation about how auto-mechanics may relate to the types of things she has chosen to do outside of school throughout her life including interests, hobbies and activities. What are her key skill sets?  What types of learning environments is she well suited to? For example, does she prefer an active learning environment rather than sitting behind a desk?
 
If Zahira has a technical and mathematical aptitude, likes to build and take things apart and has an interest in how cars operate, an apprenticeable trade such as auto-mechanics may be appropriate for her. She can do some further research to understand this trade on Career Cruising. She may also want to try a co-op work placement to gain some hands-on experience before applying to OYAP. She may discover that this is an appropriate pathway for her. If it isn’t, it may be that she wants to approach mechanics through engineering. Emphasize the importance of valuing all initial post-secondary destinations as viable options that honour students’ individualities.  
 
Scenario #4 (Paul)
 
Paul’s plan has been to go to university to study business. Now in semester 1 of Grade 12, he’s struggling with his grades in math. He’s concerned about how this will impact his application as well as his decision to go into business. What should he do?  
 
Suggested Response
 
Encourage Paul to speak with his teacher to see if there’s anything that he can do to improve his understanding of math. Through Career Cruising, he can research the many business programs available in university.  Not all are math intensive. Perhaps he would like to contemplate a Bachelor of Arts in Business rather than a Bachelor of Business.
 
In addition, there are many business programs in college that do not require university preparation math courses. Ontario students have an excellent job acquisition rate directly after college graduation. Many students choose the college option or try college before going to university.
 
Scenario #5 (Vincent)
 
Vincent really wants to try the Chess Club. At school, his teachers are encouraging him to join a club as a way to get involved, meet other students who have similar interests, and explore new experiences. He doesn’t know if the Chess Club is right for him and how he can further investigate clubs in general.
 
Suggested Response
 
Encourage Vincent to find out what clubs are available at his school by listening to morning announcements, reading the school newsletter and website, and attending opportunities such as Club Fairs and open invitations to clubs.
 
Encourage him to explore which available clubs may be of interest to him. If he thinks he likes chess, he should give it a try. He should experience the process and expectations of the club and see if these are a good fit for him. He may also want to try something else and explore other interests which can inform subsequent choices he’ll make in secondary school. 
 
Scenario #6 (Miriam)
 
Miriam is a Grade 9 student with a keen interest in sports. She is involved in competitive basketball and has done some summer work at her uncle’s sports medicine office. Recently, Miriam found out about a Specialist High Skills Majors Program (SHSM) at her school with a focus on Health and Wellness. She’s wondering if becoming involved in this program will help her to further explore her key interests.
 
Suggested Response
 
Acknowledge Miriam’s motivation to maximize her opportunities while at school. Encourage her to continue to self-advocate and research programs and experiences that will be of benefit to her. Help her to develop a greater awareness off all that SHSMs have to offer. Enrolment in this program will help her to gain experience and skills in an economic sector that supports her area of interest. Having this extended learning opportunity will also help her to make informed decisions about her initial post-secondary destination.
 
Scenario #7 (Alex)
 
Alex is confused about how to get started on his IPP and asks for some guidance.
 
Suggested Response
 
Encourage Alex to access Career Cruising and go to My IPP. A good place to start is with the personal assessments (e.g. Matchmaker). These will help him understand his skill sets and preferred learning styles.  Based on the results of these assessments, Career Cruising will provide him with potential careers for which he may be well suited. That is a great starting point from which he can further investigate opportunities. He can also use the Career Cruising Journal to record his thinking.
 
 
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