“I can’t ever find an instructor!” Sound familiar? I hear it all the time from students. “There is never an educator around when I need one.” We know that this isn’t really the case. It is simply that they need you right now and you are on the other side of the student salon helping another student. You get there as soon as you can, but for them, they feel as though they have had to wait “forever.”
Working student salons with multiple students can be challenging. Many of our schools have large student salons and most states allow between a 20 or 25 to 1 student to instructor ratio. One instructor managing 20 students on a Friday afternoon when the student salon is jumping isn’t for the faint of heart.
Another challenge that we have is when a student asks one instructor for help at the beginning of the service, a second instructor for advice during the service, and a third instructor for help as they complete the service. It is sometimes a challenge to provide coaching to the student when you are unsure what the prior educator told them.
To help solve these problems, consider taking the Zone Teaching approach. Divide your student salons into zones and assign a specific instructor to each zone. Each instructor will be responsible for supervising the stations and students in their zone. This makes it clear for the students to know who they should be going to for help and will eliminate the problem that comes up when one instructor gives one set of directions and another instructor tells them to do something else.
Check back with us in next week’s blog post for some advice on how to divide up your student salons.
Lisha Barnes is a Cosmetology/Barber Instructor with over 25 years of experience. She started out in a small private school working in Admissions, Financial Aid, Education, and School Director. She was a Director of Education for a chain of Private Cosmetology schools. Currently she serves as the Academic Development Manager for Milady where she supports schools and educators around the nation with continuing education, curriculum development and product knowledge. Lisha has served as an Educator for Milady’s Career Institute; NACCAS Commission; Career Educators of America Committee Member; and has authored numerous writing projects for Milady. This industry experience allows her to see the industry from a variety of viewpoints, which helps in sharing information and ideas with educators all around the world.