BeautyLink - Volume 7, Issue 3 - (Page 22)
BY MARY BARTHELME ABEL
reat instructors make great
students who, in turn,
make great professionals.
But what does it take to be
a great instructor? What
are the best teaching methods? What challenges do today's instructors
face, and how do they overcome them? And
most importantly, how do instructors -
and their schools - create successful nail
professionals? Here, five nail instructors
from schools around the country weigh in.
What makes a great nail
As with any type of teacher, professionalism, dedication to a diverse group of students, and passion and knowledge of the
subject matter are all key characteristics.
But our instructors agree that beyond these
basics, nail instructors need to listen to
their students and understand what it takes
to keep them focused and engaged throughout the program - right up to graduation.
Gina Morgan, who has been a nail technician instructor with the Elaine Sterling
Institute in Atlanta, Georgia, for 12 years,
keeps her students on track by fostering
an encouraging atmosphere. "Being a good
listener and understanding different learning styles allows my students to build confidence and share new 'outside-the-box'
ideas," Morgan says. "I want them be a part
of the learning experience - to use their
creativity and make suggestions."
Lauren Geller-Henderson, the Everett
Campus Manager of Washington-based
Evergreen Beauty College, also believes
listening skills are important. "We need to
be not just good listeners, but great listeners," she says. By paying attention to student
feedback, Geller-Henderson explains, educators are able to build honest relationships
and be able to understand when a student is
really struggling. "And, they have the best
ideas!" she adds.
Overcoming Classroom Challenges
Nail instructors have a unique set of challenges when it comes to turning students
into professionals. Keeping up with new
trends and techniques, teaching classes
that vary from sanitation to professionalism to owning a business, and preparing
students for state exams and employment
are just the beginning.
"As instructors, we need to keep up with
all of the newest trends and keep up our
continuing education outside of our own
schools," says Monica Reyes, a manicuring
instructor at the Marinello School of Beauty
in Fresno, California, and a nail technician with The Beehive Salon. "We also have
many students who come in with bad habits
and preconceived notions when it comes to
specific techniques." Reyes changes those
bad habits by breaking the technique down
to a step-by-step process, then having students perform the task at hand over and
over until it becomes second nature. And,
she says, "giving a lot of praise and encouragement along the way."
Correcting bad habits is something
Shannon Cameron, an instructor at the St.
Petersburg, Fla.-based Loraine's Academy,
continually deals with, too. "It's amazing
to watch my students' faces and see how
shocked they are when they learn that some
salons do things the wrong way, and then
how happy they are to learn the right way."
Teaching proper technique is also
Christina Abbinanti's biggest challenge.
An instructor at the New York Institute of
Beauty in Islandia, New York, she agrees
demonstrations are most effective. "I do
demos one-on-one with students, explaining each moment and step in as much detail
as possible," she says. "It's a lot harder than
it looks," Geller-Henderson adds. "Some
students take a long time to really get it.
It's important to set aside time to work with
and encourage them."
And in a world where everyone is attached
to a smartphone, Morgan has decided that if
you can't beat 'em, join 'em. "Instead of discouraging phones, I make them part of the
classroom setting. For example, when we
practice nail art, the students are allowed to
use their phones to access YouTube how-to
videos and follow along."
Instructors agree that hands-on demos,
field trips, and role-playing are excellent
ways to make learning fun and keep students engaged.
"Nail techs are very visual and hands
on," Geller-Henderson says. "Teach while
you demo. This not only shows off your
skills, but also allows for questions - and
the more questions, the better. By listening
The courses ED103 - Student Learning and Assessment, ED106 - Enhancing Student Learning and ED125 - Effective
and Efficient Instructional Strategies are available on the AACS Online Training Center. Members call AACS at 800-831-1086
for your VIP Discount Code. Visit the following URL to learn more about these courses: www.aacstraining.org/courses/
ED103, www.aacstraining.org/courses/ED106 and www.aacstraining.org/courses/CS125.
| B EAU TYLINK | NA ILI NG IT! | 2015
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BeautyLink - Volume 7, Issue 3
Message From the Aacs President and CEA Chair
CEA Annual Convention & Expo Preview
Event Recap: 2015 Spring Executive Retreat & Financial Aid Workshop
AACS’ New State Relations Program Advisor
And Than There's Compliance
Fall’s Top Nail Trends
Beauty Schools Aim to Bring New Life to Nail Tech Programs
A Student's Perspective
Beauty Changes Lives
People & Places
New Products and Services
Associate Member Profiles: Nail Specialty Companies
New School Members
Upcoming 2015 Events
Index to Advertisers
BeautyLink - Volume 7, Issue 3