When your nail students enter the real world, they won't be working in a bubble. Many will start at a full-service salon where they'll need to get along with the owner, the hairdressers, the estheticians, and the receptionist. Give them a headstart by assigning them one or more of these group projects while enrolled in your nail program.
1. Light, Camera, Action: If you work at a school that offers beauty courses beyond nails (such as hair or skin care), then require students in different disciplines to do a photo shoot together. Stephanie Larson, who graduated from Glen Dow Academy in Spokane, Wash., completed a group photo shoot in school. She says, "It's always fun to work with a group to a common goal and see how awesome it looks when it all comes together!" For students who want to enter the glamorous world of being a celebrity nail tech, this shoot can also help them start their portfolio.
2. Show & Tell: As homework, have each student find a nail-related video that captures their attention (such as one from NAILStv). The next day in class, split the students into small groups, where they will view their members' chosen videos, discuss the real-world applications of the espoused techniques (such as pricing strategies for offering the service in a salon), and could even try out the demonstrated applications.
3. If You Market It, They Will Come: Give each group of nail students some basic information about an imaginary nail salon. The information should include details such as the salon's target demographic, its location in town, and several of its most popular services. Have the students work together on creating a cohesively designed set of marketing materials for the salon, including business cards, a salon menu, and retail shelf talkers. Each group then presents their materials to the class.
4. Act It Out: Have the students engage in role playing, acting out several scenarios that are likely to happen in a salon. For instance, one student can play a customer who's disastified with her nail color, while another steps in as the salon owner. Another group can role play a scene in which a nail tech recommends a service upgrade to her client.
5. Win As a Team: Ask students to enter a team beauty competition, such as the ones that take place at Barristar's Beauty School Forum. "I entered a the National Association Of Cosmetology competion in Ohio my third week in nail class. I did not place as an individual competitor, however, in the team divison we placed third," says nail tech Tiffany Hammond, who attended Innerstate Beauty School in Lyndhurst, Ohio. "I learned that day how exciting fashion and beauty are to the industry and what it takes to wow consumers with creative skill and efficient team work," adding that "it was voluntary but should be a requirement."
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