U.S. News & World Report named cosmetologist/hair stylist as one of the best careers of 2009. One reason for this is that the beauty industry is considered more recession-proof than other industries. But cosmetology isn't a career you learn on the fly. Although some states once allowed beauty operators to apprentice under an experienced professional in order to meet state licensing requirements, most states now have laws requiring a certain number of hours of education from a licensed beauty school. Therefore, the demand for beauty education creates a growing need for highly qualified cosmetology teachers.
Why Cosmetology Educators Need Training
Some state laws require cosmetology students to be sixteen or eighteen years or older. In general, classes consist of adults of varying ages and from a wide variety of backgrounds. Cosmetology instructors need a firm knowledge of adult learning methodologies in order to accommodate this diverse mix of students, all with different learning styles, education levels, language skills, cultural backgrounds, and other factors that affect the way they learn.
Additionally, cosmetology education is vocational, which means that students are taught detailed techniques through a hands-on approach. Because cosmetology instruction blends the teaching of theory with practical skill instruction, effective lesson planning ensures that the right information is communicated and demonstrated in ways that all types of learners are able to understand.
Cosmetology Instructors and Lesson Planning
A beauty school instructor training program introduces you to various cosmetology curricula and classroom solutions. One program example is described in the curriculum available through Certified Learning in Cosmetology--also known as the CLiC program. This particular system targets visual learners and provides a packaged curriculum solution with lesson plans and other training tools. Though some beauty schools have a standard curriculum like CLiC, others allow you to choose your own curriculum or to supplement the existing curriculum.
Knowing how to develop your own lesson plans is crucial for several reasons:
- Students may request or require additional instruction on difficult-to-grasp concepts such as chemistry and hair color.
- You may have expert knowledge about a subject that is not included in a pre-packaged curriculum.
- There may be students with learning styles that need variations to the existing curriculum.
Technology in Beauty School Education
It is important to know how to incorporate technology into your lesson plans. An increasing number of beauty school students are part of the generation that grew up using technological tools for nearly every life situation. According to leading beauty school curriculum publisher Milady, Generation Y learners are technological experts who know how to multi-task and are used to working in groups. In order to keep these students engaged, cosmetology instructors must be prepared to use technology in their teaching methods.