My blog partner and I come from two different worlds. I live in a big city and work and teach in a large, modern salon. She lives in a very small town, works as an instructor and does hair in a small, private environment. On the surface, we could not be more different. But when we web conference about our love of our work and our beliefs and experiences as stylists and educators, we see and respond to the same things…
We both agree that part of our changing roles as educators will be to adapt the behaviorist model that has dominated the hairdressing industry. It is a good jumping off point but completely inadequate in serving our students. We must learn new methods of adapting to their learning styles as all students have different experiences, needs and expectations. Also our teaching methods need to include use of all the emerging technologies. We must acknowledge and keep pace with the access our students have to an infinite array of online inspirations. Embracing the online world opens up new teaching opportunities. Technology is the great leveler, it makes Janet’s experience teaching in a small town equal to mine in a big city.

One look at this website and you will see what we means to our teaching environment….

We are also in agreement that the curriculum is woefully inadequate in addressing certain aspects of our business. Two of the issues school does not address are professionalism and ethics. What is interesting as a teacher working in a salon is listening to her experiences and perspectives as a teacher in a classroom. We agree that the roots of ethical, professional behavior should be formed at the beginning of their teachings.

Her experiences are with students that are fresh to the industry. I hear her frustration with a curriculum that does not address her understanding of the business. We agree that professionalism and ethics are an unacknowledged part of becoming a stylist. Just being a creative and talented stylist or colorist does not respond to all our clients needs. I myself felt that coming out of school 20 something years ago, and aligned myself with an owner/mentor that would teach and promote those skills. I really respect Janet for her dedication to addressing that which the curriculum does not.

There is an old saying… ” Those who can do, those who can’t teach”. That perspective is alive and well in the minds of clients and stylists in this industry. If you are not in a salon environment learning current trends, you are not a viable stylist. Teachers are those that have given up, and as a result, are stagnant and not even a stylist anymore. I was affected by that bias and a little afraid to make this leap into teaching…until I met Janet. She has taught me that an open mind, and my love of lifelong learning will help me stay on top of my teaching methods and really influence the new wave of stylists coming from school.

Thanks Janet… you are my scissor soul-sister 🙂

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