Professional Development Highlights: Coaching Through Situational Simulations

A light bulb with text "What do you want to learn today?"
- Professional Development

Did you know that ACPS has a classroom simulator? Pilots, doctors, astronauts and professional athletes all use computer simulators to master their craft and now you can, too.

ACPS is one of the first school divisions in the country to use Mursion, a mixed reality simulator with a human in the loop that allows teachers to simulate classroom situations and receive on-the-spot feedback. Situations can be stopped, paused or restarted, giving teachers the chance to reflect upon and improve outcomes for students in the moment.

Mursion sessions have been offered across the division for coaches, teachers, mentors, administrators, parents and even students.

Here are a few examples of how Mursion has been used in ACPS:

  1. Teachers have practiced delivering lessons and managing student behavior
  2. Principals and coaches have used it to practice sharing feedback and learn ways to deliver constructive guidance
  3. Parents have used it to practice advocating for students who are new to the IEP (Individualized Education Program) process.

Here are a few ways in which you might use Murion:

  1. Study lessons with a professional learning community (PLC) team. Try out new teaching strategies in the simulator before you try them with students.
  2. Simulate parent teacher conferences and find new ways to share progress and needs of students in your class.
  3. Simulate morning meetings or community circles to see how you might address certain issues.

If you’re interested in participating in a simulation or would like to try it out with your school or team, reach out to Cory Kapelski in the Office of Talent Development.

Here’s what some of those who’ve used Mursion at ACPS had to say:

“Linda’s [avatar] responses, including her non-verbals, were so realistic and what we can expect from teachers in coaching situations. The experience provided a great opportunity to practice and reflect on our skills and strategies in coaching and providing feedback to teachers to improve instruction and student outcomes. I highly encourage everyone to try it!” ~ ACPS Assistant Principal

“Mursion allowed me to think deeply about the language I was using in my coaching conversations. Through the simulated coaching environment, I was able to pause our encounter, reflect on what was just said and either revise a previous question or plan my next question. The collaborative feedback experience I engaged in with my peers gave me a lot of insight in to the most effective questions and how to think more carefully when planning a conversation.” ~ ACPS Instructional Coach

“This course was great. This was the first PD  [professional development] where I felt the information was relevant to me, something I didn’t know and gave me new things I can use in my classroom. It was cool to practice ourselves, rather than just hearing about it. We got to do it, which doesn’t often happen in PDs. Thank you for the opportunity.” ~ ACPS Elementary School Teacher