BeautyLink - Volume 7, Issue 3 - (Page 22)

Nailing It! Producing Professionals BY MARY BARTHELME ABEL G 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 instructor? 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." Real-World Experience 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: ED103, and 22 | B EAU TYLINK | NA ILI NG IT! | 2015 Learn More

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
Producing Professionals
Fall’s Top Nail Trends
Superstar Graduate
Beauty Schools Aim to Bring New Life to Nail Tech Programs
Multicultural Corner
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