Before I worked in publishing I worked in public education. I consider it a privilege to have spent so much time in the school system. I was there to teach, but I loved my job because of what I learned.
In the nail industry there is much to learn as well, but when it comes to schooling, I feel like I am barely passing. Every year NAILS publishes a Career Handbook for nail schools and students. Every year I work on this special issue, but unlike with NAILS, I don’t know my readers personally. So I was more than willing to join CND co-founder Jan Arnold and president and owner of Bellus Academy Lynelle Lynch for a tour of her school.
Bellus nail instructor Paulina Riddle reminded me how rewarding it is to work with students. Riddle drew a picture of a tree and used the metaphor that education is rooted in school, but students have to branch out to grow their knowledge. I could see that her students valued their education, career choice, and instructor. These students did careful research before choosing Bellus and some even commuted to ensure that they got the education they desired. The classroom was filled with inspiration boards, pages of NAILS Magazine, nail posters, and freshly created nail art. I have seen the future of our industry — and it looks bright.
I’ve heard almost as many negative stories about nail schools as I have about public schools, but at the end of the day, I believe in education. Whether you had a positive beauty school experience or not, it’s our job to give the next generation the help they need to keep learning. Offer to mentor a new tech, maybe even look into teaching a few classes yourself, or give to a scholarship program such as Beauty Changes Lives (www.beautychangeslives.org). Let’s invest in education to strengthen the promise of our future. Whether it’s time, money, or energy, let’s give back to schooling and let’s get back to learning.
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