As I sit at my desk today, trying to decide on my next blog post, it is occurring to me that I am approaching a milestone in my life. Next month I will be celebrating 10 years as a full-time Milady employee. If you add on to that the time I spend working as an Independent Contractor, teaching Milady Master Educator classes, I will soon pass the 18-year mark working as a Master Educator. The time has gone so quickly, it is hard to believe that it has been that long.
During those amazing years, I’ve had the opportunity to teach and work with thousands upon thousands of educators across North America. I have encountered passionate, inspiring and energetic educators who are dedicated to giving everything they have to shape the next generation of beauty professionals. The problem is, not all educators stick around.
I recently read a statistic that said 50% of educators leave the profession within the first 5 years. I’ve seen that first hand. I will see educators at industry events for several years in a row and then they are gone. But then there are other educators who stay. They stick with it and they show up day in and day out, year in and year out.
What makes them stick? Is it speaking skills? Is it technical skills? Is it attitude? What are the characteristics of the Master Educator who sticks it out and continues to make a difference in the lives of future professionals?
Over a series of blog posts, I am going to share with you many different characteristics of a Successful Master Educator. The first one I want to share is simple.
Master Educators are open to new ideas.
This one was a hard one for me to learn. I remember vividly the day, a team member asked me why we needed to continue doing something and my response was “because we have always done it that way”. WOW! Yes, those words came out of my mouth and I realized in that moment, that I was becoming “old school”. You know old school, right? That person that is so set in their ways, they are not willing to try new things. I don’t know about you, but I’m not willing to have people say that about me. I knew I had to change. I had to become the educator who is open to new ideas.
To be a great educator we must be open to new ideas and be willing to change it up. We must give up the “my way or the highway” attitude, and begin to realize that there are lots of great ideas out there. Just because we have been doing something one way with success, doesn’t mean that is the only way to do it. We must adapt to an ever-changing world and try new things.
Maybe that means incorporating cell phones or tablets into your classroom. Maybe it means flipping your classroom, using less lecture and more activities to reach your student. Maybe it means using different educational tools like MindTap or Studio Luma?
Being open to new ideas is going to be different for everyone. So, ask yourself these two questions. Where are you stuck? What are you open to doing that is different?
Lisha Barnes is a Cosmetology/Barber Instructor with over 25 years of experience. She started out in a small private school working in Admissions, Financial Aid, Education, and School Director. She was a Director of Education for a chain of Private Cosmetology schools. Currently she serves as the Academic Development Manager for Milady where she supports schools and educators around the nation with continuing education, curriculum development and product knowledge. Lisha has served as an Educator for Milady’s Career Institute; NACCAS Commission; Career Educators of America Committee Member; and has authored numerous writing projects for Milady. This industry experience allows her to see the industry from a variety of viewpoints, which helps in sharing information and ideas with educators all around the world.