Working with Protective Factors Index (Feel the Force Luke!) This is a complete session plan for working with the Individual Protective Factors Index charts. It followed building dream boards. The session worked very well with a group of boys who were known in the school as low aspiring, mostly low ability, and disengaged. The mentors reported that the relationship with the boys started to deepen following this session and the subsequent work on their personal and social competencies The session plan is as circulated to the mentors before the session. Stage 1: Re-envisage the dream We want to give the boys 5 minutes to pull out their...
Complete Session Plan - alternative to 'Vision My Future' This session was run for most of a school day as the first phase of an 'Abaze Mentoring Progression' scheme. As you will see it diverges from the usual 'Vision My Future' format. Many thanks to Rachel White and the team of Clarke Willmott for their contribution. Ablaze Session Plan 21 November 2012 10:30 to 15:00   Introduction – 15 mins (10:30-10:45) Everyone to go round and introduce themselves Aim: Give them an opportunity to learn our names Ice Breaker-20 mins (10:45-11:05) Imagine you’ve been shipwrecked and everyone has been stranded on a deserted island! Each person is...
A simple game for monitoring and analysing changing career aspirations of secondary school students. Second draft, 31 October 2013. Purpose The primary purpose of the game is to collect data from secondary school age students to inform monitoring and evaluation of structured activities (such as those organised by Ablaze) intended to broaden their career aspirations, alongside their motivation and capacity to turn them into reality. The monitoring tool also needs to be (a) quick, easy and fun for students to play and for non-specialist researchers to use; (b) open-ended and non-directive, so as to elicit students’ own thoughts and feelings about preferred and possible career options....
My Protective Factors - self-discovery for Mentees This questionnaire will help you understand the factors that help to protect you and help you to work effectively with your coach or mentor. No-one will see the answers you give - your coaches will be sent a graph to work through with you. It looks like a spider's webor a force-field diagram; they will not see your answers, only the graph that is produced. This is what you will explore with them.The following questions will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes to complete. In answering them, we are asking just two things of you:  First: Read the question carefully, then...
101 Uses Group Game: Good for getting the imagination going and seeing who is creative. Place an object (anything) in the middle of the table. Ask each person in turn to describe a unique usage for the item. You could throw a ball to the next person to speak or go round in a circle. See how many you can get - we used a roll of sellotape and came up with 14 uses!
I AM | I WILL This series of exercises moves people from Dreams into Design; from big fluffy pictures towards setting goals. It doesn't have to be done in one session, there are natural break points, but you do need to plan to complete the activity. You can write the lists on paper, but it helps if they are written on index cards, one item of the list on one card. It may help to link this with 'Fantasticat' - if you think that the group will have a hard time owning any positive virtues make sure you have done that excecise first. Step 1 (5 - 10 minutes) Setup: Imagine you can send a video phone...
Self-Awareness: Transferable Skills The skills you have developed in one part of your life can often be applied in another area - this exercise helps you to understand what skills you can draw on and use in a new situation. Task   1. Take Worksheet ( Transferable Skills Worksheet.pdf) and cut into 'cards'.        Lay out the four 'header cards on a clear space on your desk in the        following order:   CAN DO THIS VERY WELL  CAN DO THIS WELL CAN DO THIS BUT NOT VERY WELL NOT ONE OF MY STRENGTHS   2. Read...
Dealing with Agression Aggressive behaviour can appear out of the blue. To get the exchange to an even keel so you can communicate and deal with issues effectively, you need to defuse the aggressor's aggression. Here are some steps to help achieve this. Instructions  Step 1 This can be described as taking a step back or, more colloquially, counting to 10. Don't focus on the specifics right now. Simply think, in confident terms, as in: I can handle this I can stay calm. Focus on the words being said, not the emotions being expressed. That may help you keep cool. Step 2 Having set yourself...
Behaviour profiles and how to work with them When thinking about how best to work with someone, a young person you are mentoring for instance, it is a good idea to concider their behaviour and to adopt an approach that they will respond to. Here is one set of profiles and tactics for working best with them. This is a preparation tool that can be revisited at various times. Analyticals Analyticals are essentially perfectionists. They think things through, they're thorough, they like to have the facts and they can be very patient. However their patience can be their downfall. They won't act until they're sure. So, they can appear...
Needs Values Excercise To help people think about what is important to them when thinking about their future and about work. Useful tool for moving from discovery into dreaming phases of mentoring, but actually useful at any time someone is feeling their way, reconcidering options. First print out the attached sheets onto thick paper or card. Cut out the 'cards'. Notice that there are blank ones for you to fill in should you need them. Set aside the cards with titles at the top, High Priority, Dump and so on, for the moment - these are category cards. Turn the others face down on the table, and have...
Overcoming Inertia There is a whole host of different ways to be passive. Here, you can look at four such ways, and how you can respond to get the most out of the person you are working with. Tentative agreement Here, the individual seems to go along with a proposal, not because they think it's achievable or even desirable but simply because they don't want conflict or they want to please you. Key verbal clues include: "Oh I suppose so." say what you hear try to find out, there and then, if there is a problem. Unwilling to state preference  Here, the individual may well want to do something...
Role Models - Values Exercise This exercise could be used as an icebreaker and it certainly provokes discussion Stick on to a large piece of paper pictures of famous people from different areas of life (preferably a mixture of people they will know and some they won't, who you can talk about). Ask the mentees to indicate which of these people they would most like to be and why, whom they think is a good/bad role model etc. This helps you to find out their values and beliefs. Better still is to ask them to collect images.  Consider how to use this with  'Role Models - Exploring Aspirations' 
Family Tree This helps you to find out who they live with, family dynamics, etc. and also perhaps about other cultures. Ask your mentee(s) to draw their immediate family tree (some may have lots of relatives so it may be best to restrict it in some way), which can include best friends and pets. They could do this either as a proper diagram or draw an actual tree and write names on the branches. Ask them to bring in photos of their family and in conjunction with their drawings talk through who they are. Please note that some students may feel uncomfortable with this exercise...
Ten Minute GROWing Actions Sheet This sheet is used in coaching sessions, or in a mentoring session that involves coaching. It is based on John Whitmore's GROW model. The intention is that it is used regularly and that it should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. Less if possible. Avoid doing this as a process - hold a coaching conversation that covers the ground, then use this sheet to summarise and provide a record of the session The file attached contains two sheets - Print out the first one to use for instruction and guidance, and print out lots of copies of the second page, which is a black sheet (with the...
Name Game A simple, well known team game best played with a small group of three students and one mentor. Everyone writes down the names of a number of famous people on separate bits of paper- remember to keep the names secret. They can be alive or dead or even fictional. Fold up all the bits of paper and put them in a bowl or cup. Split into two teams of two. Each person then has to pick out a bit of paper and describe the person by giving clues to their team-mate, without mentioning the famous person’s name. Each person gets a minute to describe as many names as...
Leaving a voice message Your boss has asked you to call Mr Smith to see if he is free for a meeting later this afternoon. He hands you a card which contains all of Mr Smiths details, for example his company name, telephone and fax details. You make the call to his direct line and you suddenly hear:  "Hello this is Kevin Smith's voicemail. I am not available at present to take your call, but if you wish to leave me a message after the tone I shall return your call as soon as possible" BEEEEPPPP!' What do you do? Set your mentee(s) the task of ringing up and leaving a voicemail...
Self-Awareness Personal Qualities This exercise is to help you to think a little more carefully and in more detail about yourself. Task Take the self-awareness worksheet and put ticks in the boxes which best describe you. eg. if you know that at home you are always confident tick this box in column B, if you only feel confident sometimes at school tick this box in column C. The spaces in column A are for you to add anything you feel we have missed out. Exchange worksheets with another person in your group and discuss each of the qualities listed in column A. See if your friend sees you as you appear to yourself...
Work skills: Answering a phone call It's your first secretarial seat since leaving school/college. Your nerves are shattered and your stomach full of butterflies. You're sitting at your desk when suddenly your telephone begins to ring. What do you do? Apart from the initial reaction, which is 'RUN!', using the 10 steps below may help you get through your first day of answering calls: It is always best to have a compliment slip nearby when answering calls so you can either remember the name of the company that you work for (especially if it is a difficult name) and/or their telephone or fax...
What is Success? This is an exploration of what success means to you and your students. It can be run as a discussion if you are in restricted space or one-to-one. In this case the attached sheet is cut up into 'cards' that are placed face down on the table and each person in turn turns a card and uses the prompt to start a discussion. This works only if you pull the discussion out, since the cards have a tendency to prompt 'yes' or 'no'. A more interesting approach that works well with small groups is to do a 'walking vote'. Print and cut up the attached sheet. It works best with the heaviest paper you...
Time and Tomatoes Time management for students (and others!). It is excellent for overcoming fear of time and achieving focus.This is our recommended technique for time management because:It is easy to learnSimple to practiceCan be done on paper or computerIt is freeIt is very effective - particularly when you are working with:Tasks that are desk-based (rather than juggling meetings)Lots of different things at once (such as subjects)Rather than re-invent the wheel here is the link to the downloads page that gives you access to a book and resources.http://www.pomodorotechnique.com/products.htmledit... the...
Exploring Hobbies The aim of this exercise is to identify the interests of the students and what they reveal about them. It should also stress the importance of hobbies in the search for employment. The exercise can also be used as a tool for students to research subjects they know little about. Instructions Print the attached "hobbies and interests" sheet attached Ask students to read through the list below and Put a "tick" in any box which interests them Put an "X" if they have no skill or knowledge about this activity but would like to find out more Pick out...
Getting to know each other Particularly useful if the mentee is not chatty and likes to fiddle - or if they chat loads and don't reveal anything. Also useful in groups. 10 minutes on-to-one longer in a group Instructions Print the attached file (preferably onto card or labels to stick on cards) Cut out the squares to make cards In the session - shuffle and place face down on the table Each pick up one in turn and complete the sentence Tip! Have fun - this is just to get things going!
What's important to us? This is about exploring what is important to us now and what that may say about us and about what kind of life we might like in the future. Objective This is to get people to start thinking about the future, starting from where they are now.  It lies within a general theme of 'knowing ourselves' and prepares students for the idea that they can and do make choices about what kind of lives they are going to lead. The short version is great to help young people who tend to follow their peers that there are many differences between them Instructions The short version uses only part...
Survival on the moon You are lost on the moon with some stuff; what do you need to survive? Problem statement You are in a space craft originally scheduled to rendezvous with a mother ship on the lighted surface of the moon. Mechanical difficulties, however, have forced your ship to crash-land at a spot some 200 miles form the rendezvous point. The rough landing damaged much of the equipment aboard. Since survival depends on reaching the mother ship, the most critical items available must be chosen for the 200 mile trip. Below are listed the 15 main items left intact after landing. Your...
Preparing a work schedule You are responsible for the maintenance of a large hotel and leisure complex. The hotel is five years old. You arrive for work one Monday morning to take over from the weekend skeleton maintenance staff to find this list of outstanding tasks. The time is 6.30 am, it is a fine June day. You have three members of staff and an apprentice. All your staff are specialists in particular areas, but they also have experience of trades allied to their own. Your staff are; An Electrician A Carpenter A Plumber   The apprentice started with the...