ELS Simulations – Meaningful PD That Works: In focusing on School Improvement, “The principal’s job (is) both the most important in a school building and the loneliest, and the stress it places on individuals is illustrated by its rapid turnover rates…” (EdWeek). Ed SIMS are engaging and build resilience & decision-making capacity to better prepare administrators for the challenges inherent in running their schools.
The online leadership simulations (SIMS) are browser-based, choose-your-own-adventure applications that provide sitting and aspiring leaders with an opportunity to exercise judgment and practice decision making, experience the consequences of their actions and then to receive feedback on their choices for an opportunity for reflection. The SIMS can be used as part of Professional Development or as a vehicle to develop and sustain a positive school climate amongst staff. Principals can use the SIMS individually, with peers or a coach/mentor. However, they are at their best when the Principal, or other administrators, facilitate the SIMS with their teams and/or teachers so that the participants have the opportunity to expand upon and share their perspectives in a peer-to-peer organic and non-confrontational manner which both enables and models collaborative behavior. The approach is built on the premise that “Experience is the Best Teacher,” and the SIMS, in essence, manufacture experience to improve decision making, build resilience, increase the capacity for leadership and most importantly build/sustain a more positive climate in the building via the communication and collaboration in the experience.