We talked to educators from various disciplines and identified some of the main qualities needed for good teaching. Whether you’re teaching a room of kindergarteners, a university classroom, or a group of adult nail school students, these are the qualities you’ll want to develop to be an effective teacher.

  1. Be enthusiastic: Your students can tell if you have a passion for teaching and the nail industry. This in turn motivates them and makes learning fun.
  2. Manage your classroom: From the first day of class, be sure your students understand your policies. Structure is essential to keep students on task and to maintain order. Be fair and enforce your rules consistently.
  3. Get organized: Establishing classroom routines and habits, such as collecting student work, handing out materials, cleaning up, etc., will prevent you from wasting time on “housekeeping” and allow more time for actual teaching and learning.
  4. Know your stuff: It’s imperative to keep up with the latest nail technology and styles by visiting trade shows, taking classes, and paying attention to trends online. Information is readily available in our digital world; if you don’t keep up abreast of it, you may find your students know more than you do in some areas.  
  5. Communicate clearly: Be sure your students understand the information you are imparting. Verbally explain as well as physically demonstrate, and give clear, accurate directions. Ask your students if they understand important concepts and ask if anyone would like you to repeat information or explain it in a different way.
  6. Be hands-on: Walk around the classroom; visit each student and help with technique and individual challenges.
  7. Question effectively: Questioning is a powerful tool that provokes student thought. Asking questions directed to the whole class, and then pausing several seconds allows students time to think and then volunteer their answers.
  8. Be flexible: Be willing to adjust when timely topics come up — such as sanitation issues in the news — instead of staying with your lesson plan. Be willing to stray from your rules and routines if you see that it will help your students.
  9. Be aware of learning styles: Cosmetology school instructors work with adult students of all age groups and from all walks of life who have varied personalities and learning styles. Try to use a mix of auditory, visual, and hands-on techniques.
  10. Expect the best from your students: Let your students know that you hold high expectations for their success. Require participation and excellent work. Your students will respect you for expecting them to do their best, and it will increase their self-confidence. If they see that you believe in them, it will help them believe in themselves.

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

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