The way you act, your skill level, the associations you belong to, the competitions you participate in, your attitude toward others, and your outside activities in the industry —  all influence your students’ perceptions of what they can do and be and how they will succeed in the beauty industry. Every instructor is unique, and it’s those unique real-world experiences that you bring into the classroom that  make your students more aware of what they can achieve and help them become more well-rounded beauty professionals.

My nail school instructor, Ms. Adams, was fascinating to me. Not only was she  passionate about and involved in the beauty industry, but she would often share her future aspirations with us too. Her experiences and knowledge beyond the classroom allowed her to teach us outside the box, inside the classroom. She always had something interesting to teach us that tied into our careers because of her involvement in the industry. Her life was often our lessons and way more than a just a nail school education.

Ms. Adams taught us how to survive in the industry as a result of some of her experiences as a professional nail technician. The greatest lesson I ever learned from her was what I call “Always Have a Plan B.” We had to learn how to do everything (even acrylic nails — no e-files) by hand and figure out, on-the-spot, how to best utilize our skills and the products we had if something went wrong. Even today, I can do a full set of nails without an e-file and freehand simple nail art designs with limited supplies if necessary.

So when you think about how to inspire your students, be more than a nail instructor. Set a new standard for your students. If you want your students to be the best when they leave your classroom, be an inspiration and lead by example!

Tiffani Douglas is a licensed nail technician, speaker and beauty marketing professional with more than 20 years experience in the beauty industry. She is also the author of Straight Outta Beauty School – 10 Things You Need to Know and Do After Graduation, now available on Amazon.  

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For more information about your career in nails, check out NAILS Career Handbook.

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