students engaged in our classrooms, whether it is our lecture, activities, or
the student salon, we must make the content relevant to them. It must be meaningful.
What’s in it
for me? That is exactly what our
students want to know when they come to class.
If a student
thinks the class is not worth their time and effort, they probably will not
engage in class. To make it meaningful,
we must connect it to something the student is familiar with.
Connect it to
their goals and dreams. Explain how this
will impact their success in the salon, how it will help them achieve their
We often relate things to the state board and the importance
of knowing this in order to pass the exam.
While that is important, don’t stop at the state board. Our students want to understand how this
impacts their skills, future, and career, beyond the state board. We also want to help them see how this will
impact them today as well.
To make your content relevant, use videos, tell a story,
give examples from your career, use concept connectors, start class with a
Our lectures must be relevant, but we need to make
activities relevant as well. Activities
must relate to your content. What point
are you trying to make with the activity?
Don’t just toss in activities to keep the students busy or give yourself
a break. Activities must be
How do you make your classrooms and activities
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.