You have probably heard the statement that a busy student salon is a happy student salon. The more engaged students are, the less likely they are to complain, cause problems or be hanging out in the breakroom Snapchatting. In our ideal world, we would have so many customers in the student salon that all of our students would be busy with clients. They would continuously be learning and perfecting their technical skills, customer service skills and soft skills. That is, after all, what we want them to learn so they can be successful in their future salons. Unfortunately, we don’t always have a busy student salon and that creates downtime for students. We try to keep them busy with state board practice on their mannequin head or studying from their workbooks, but is that enough? Is there more that we can do to keep them engaged and learning when they don’t have clients to serve?
The student salon is a classroom and our responsibility as the student salon educator is more than simply checking their technical work. We would never walk into theory without a plan and the same goes for the student salon classroom. We need to create a plan for it each day!
Create an agenda that a student can work on when they are not busy with clients. Each day come up with a list of 5 to 10 items that students can work on during their downtime. Examples include having them work on a theory activity out of the workbook or MindTap, a research project, a technical project, a planned demonstration, a group discussion, a specific technical skill and so on. The possibilities are endless. Change it up each day and make sure to focus on a variety of topics.
To put this plan into action, keep a marker board or flip chart in the student salon or create a handout where you write the agenda so all students can see what assignments they should be working on. Coordinate with your theory teacher and create activities that relate to the theory topic for the day. This will only take a little bit of planning each week. When students have a plan in place, they have something to focus on and keep busy with during the downtime in the student salon.
Here is a sample of what a Student Salon Agenda could look like:
STUDENT SALON AGENDA
Friday – September 2, 2016
Instructor Demonstration: Long Layer Haircut and Style
Milady Haircutting Simulation: After the Long Layer Haircut demonstration complete the Long Layer Haircut in your Milady Haircutting Simulation.
Activity: Search magazine pictures or Pinterest pictures and choose 3 different hairstyles. Identify the type of haircut and technique used to create the cut. Identify how the hair was styled. Share your pictures and your findings with 3 other students and 1 instructor.
Discussion Group: Soft Skills Discussion – watch Milady’s Soft Skills DVD – How to Handle an Unhappy Client. With a minimum of 3 other students hold a discussion on how you would handle the same situation seen in the video.
Webinar: com Webinar – How to Handle a Late Client. Watch the webinar and then find a partner to discuss what you learned.
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.