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Conversation Starters
Conversation Starters
 
The following are some questions that can be used as conversation starters with your children as they reflect on their Individual Pathways Plan:
 
 
When your child is trying to understand how they think or feel about something, they may describe their thoughts or feelings on a scale from one to 10. These are Scaling Questions
 
 
Where would you put yourself on a scale from 1 to 10, where:
  • 1= you’re not confident about the subjects you’re taking in school and 10 = you’re very confident?
  • 1= you’re not interested in school and 10 = you’re very interested?
  • 1= is you’re not motivated to try special programs/activities at school and 10= you’re very motivated?
  • 1= is you have no idea what you want to study after secondary school and 10 = you know for sure?
  • 1= you have no idea what job you would like to try after secondary school and 10 = you know for sure?
  • 1= is you don’t know how the choices you’re making at school today are helping you, and 10 = you’re confident that they’re helping you?
  •  1= is you don’t understand pathways planning and 10 = you understand completely?
  • 1 = you don’t feel you’ve made good choices in secondary school and 10 = you have made great choices?
Extension Questions:
  • If you’re at a five on the scale, what helped you get to a five? What will help you get to a six?
  • If you’re at a one on the scale, what helped you to get to a one? How did that help you? What will help you to get to a two?
  • What can you do today to move up a notch?
  • How far would you like to move up on the scale?
 
 
EXCEPTION QUESTIONS explore what worked for the student in the past and experiences that contributed to positive outcomes. What has worked for the student in the absence of a problem or challenge? During these times, students demonstrate strength. When they discover what these strengths are, students realize they have the ability to use them again as tools for success.
 
 
 
To help the student think about his/her learning skills, interests, learning styles, etc.: 
  • Tell me about a time or an experience when you really enjoyed learning.
  • What did that look like?
  • What helped you to get the work done?
  • What made you overcome the urge to stop doing the work?   
 
To help the student focus on some options for post-secondary programs and careers:a family talking about pathways and opportunities
  • Tell me about a time when you knew what you might like to try after secondary school.
  • What helped you to come to this decision?
  • What helped you to know why you might like to try that?
  • What is it about yourself that helped you to know that this program/job would be good for you?
  •  What was it that encouraged you to select that idea over another?
  • What was happening in your life at that time? 
 
The next three questions help students to realize their impact on others and that their community values their accomplishments:
  • When you were being successful at school, what were we/your teachers, friends saying about that?
  • When you were sharing some of your interests with us/teachers/friends, how were we/they responding?
  • When you were making choices at school that felt right for you, what were we/teachers/friends saying at the time?
 
 
FUTURE-ORIENTED QUESTIONS explore solutions while they
help the student visualize what life will be like when a problem/challenge is solved or when the situation has improved. As they reflect on these positive outcomes, they’re able to uncover goals as well as an action plan for small steps towards change.
 
 
 While in secondary school: 
  • What do you think are some courses that you might like to try?
  • What will taking those courses look like?
  • What will be different?
  • When you’re engaged in experiences/activities/ opportunities that you enjoy, what will that be like?
  • When you’re engaging in special programs that you would enjoy, what will be different?
  • What will be some programs/opportunities/experiences that you might like to try while in secondary school?
  • How will these help you in secondary school and in the future?
  • Imagine that you are going to school and you’re learning just what you want to be learning and doing it in a way that is meaningful to you. What will be different?
  • How will you know?
  • What will it take for you to get involved in an activity that is meaningful for you?
 
Focus on post-secondary program/work: 
  • If you have an opportunity to try a job after secondary school, what would you like to try?
  • If you could choose from any job, what would you like to try after secondary school?
  • How would you know that it was the right job for you?
  • What would a really interesting post-secondary program be for you?
  • What would you be thinking/doing/feeling while in this program?
  • If every option was available to you, what career/program would be the best fit for you after secondary school?
  • How do you suppose you can get there?
  • What will it take to get there?
  • How can you make it happen?
  • What will be some signs for you that you’re in the right place?
 
The next three questions help students to realize their impact on others and that their community values their accomplishments:
  • When you imagine yourself in your ideal initial post-secondary program, what will we/teachers/friends….be saying?
  • Imagine you’ve started your first job. How will we/teachers/friends react?
  •  Suppose your teachers/friends were here, what would they notice is different about you when you’re talking about jobs that you would like to try?
 
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