Sometimes we jump in and take on roles professionally, not knowing exactly what we’re getting into. Often it’s a case of sink or swim. We asked instructors: What do you wish you had known before you started teaching?
I wish I had known how to better manage a class of students. I believe one of the biggest burn-out factors for instructors is not learning class management. After many years of figuring it out on my own — through classes, books, etc. — I can finally say I manage my class and not the other way around.
Georgianna Halverson, Elite Nail School, Madison, Wis.
I wish I had known how much blood, sweat, and tears would be involved in teaching — but it’s not negative at all. I’ve never been pushed to the levels of human relations as I have been being a teacher. The students become like my children even if they are older than I am; they feel like family. You cry with them, celebrate with them, stress with them, and just like a parent, you have to be firm but fair. I love what I do and I think it’s because I get to be a part of the learning process when a student discovers her potential, not only as a technician but also as a person. I count myself as being blessed to have a passion for my career choice and I can’t imagine doing anything else.
Jessica Taylor, Honolulu Nail Academy, Honolulu
I wish had known how badly nail education was needed. Educating throughout the world is very challenging, and it’s shown me first-hand how very needed it is.
John Hauk, Creative Director, Entity Beauty
I wish I had known about all the paper work involved in the process of teaching, like lesson plans, etc. Also, I would have liked to have known that, unfortunately, not all students have the same passion and interest in learning. This is when I ask myself, why are they here?
Billy Anthony Rivera, Beauty Schools of America, Miami
I wish I had known how much psychology I needed to know before I opened my academy. I would have taken that class at the community college first. I thought all students who entered my academy would be drama free and hormone free! I thought the only focus would be their education, and not all the drama that comes into the mix.
Sandra Taylor, The Nail Tech Academy, Kearney, Neb.
One thing that I wish I had known before teaching is to make sure you are organized and well rested. Some of the students pay a lot of money, and the last thing they want is an instructor who is tired and not giving it her all.
Jamaica Starr, The Nail Art Academy, Nampa, Idaho
For more information about your career in nails, check out these helpful links:
NAILS Career Handbook