When speaking to Dr. Lauren Kerr-Heraly, on my “Empowering Women in Educational Leadership” September 6th episode, she mentioned that with her innovative teaching methods, that her “classroom is in beta.”
There’s a term in the tech world: ‘beta testing.’ It refers to releasing a product that’s not 100% final to test, get feedback, and make improvements. This concept might seem out of place in the world of education, but it beautifully encapsulates my teaching philosophy: My classroom is perpetually in beta. As a confident educator in a community college setting, I believe in continuously evolving, iterating, and innovating my teaching methods. Here’s why this ‘beta mindset’ is the cornerstone of positive leadership in the classroom.
1. Teaching is a Dynamic Process
The field of education, much like technology, is always advancing. What worked a decade ago might not resonate with students today. By keeping my classroom in ‘beta,’ I’m not only embracing change but actively seeking it out. It’s a commitment to always look for better ways to connect, inspire, and educate.
2. Failure is Just Feedback in Disguise
In beta testing, not everything goes according to plan, and that’s okay. Every misstep or glitch is an opportunity to learn and refine. Similarly, not every new instructional activity will be a home run, but each attempt provides invaluable feedback. As educators, we must create an environment where both we and our students can take risks, fail, learn, and grow.
3. A Community of Collaborators
A community college classroom is a melting pot of ideas, experiences, and backgrounds. By constantly integrating new instructional ideas, I’m inviting students to be collaborators rather than passive consumers of knowledge. This approach fosters a sense of ownership, engagement, and mutual respect.
4. Staying Relevant and Relatable
To keep the classroom environment vibrant and relatable, it’s essential to stay updated with current trends and pedagogies. By always being in ‘beta,’ I ensure that my teaching methods and materials are timely and relevant. This not only enhances the learning experience but also shows students that I am invested in their success.
5. Empowering the Next Generation of Leaders
The ‘beta mindset’ is more than just about teaching; it’s about modeling positive leadership. It’s showing students the importance of adaptability, resilience, and continuous learning. By being a living example of these traits, I hope to inspire my students to carry these lessons far beyond the classroom walls.
In closing, while the term ‘beta’ might have its roots in the tech industry, its essence is universal. It’s about constant growth, learning, and improvement. My community college classroom might always be in beta, but that’s precisely what makes it a dynamic, inclusive, and transformative space for all. Embracing the beta mindset is not just a teaching strategy; it’s a way of life.
I encourage you to keep your classroom in beta that intentionally creates interactive and engaging environments for student learning. Reach out to Dr. Kerr-Heraly for more information at www.alteringcourse.com.
For guidance along your journey, reach out to me for a free consultation at www.drstephanieduguid.com. Be the champion leader focused on elevating those around you!