Distance Learning Tips for the Barber Stylist Student
and Instructor in the COVID-19 Pandemic

These days we all find ourselves in a pandemic that will forever be studied in history books. A few of the areas studied will be government responses, life in at-home quarantine, business and economy struggles, and education response. 

Like all these areas, education is rapidly changing and adapting to the times. Our understanding of Coronavirus has been changing from day to day, month to month, shutting down entire sectors of American economy and society. 

Yet, with every update, we’re all trying to quickly readjust. We’re pretty resilient. Many companies around the world have taken advantage of technology to shift to work-from-home. Colleges and Universities are included. Technology has made distance learning possible. 

Millions of grade school and postsecondary students are at home, learning from their safe quarantined environments. Beauty schools are no different.

For Students

Were you attending school or about to enroll?

Don’t be discouraged. 

This is what we understand right now.

(Because, what we know now can change again tomorrow.)

Schools across the country have closed their physical campuses and wherever possible, school boards have permitted temporary online lectures and coursework for credit. For example, the State of Florida now has the Florida Commission for Independent Education’s approval for temporary distance education. 

What does this mean?

You don’t have to physically drive or commute to your school. Your school should now be able to help you connect to them from home. You can stay safe at home and prioritize your health. At the same time, you don’t have to sacrifice your education. 

Fortunately, in times like these, the world comes together in profound ways to help you.

  • Your school will have a technical support system in place. They will walk you through setting up, likely zoom or another program for conference calling. If your school uses zoom, here is everything you need to get started and troubleshoot zoom calls. You can use this program to stay in touch with family and friends, too.
  • There’s wifi and internet support from companies like never before. Many internet providers are giving 2 months free WiFi to qualifying students. Give a few providers a call. You won’t know until you try. People want to help in a crisis. 
  • Schools and foundations are offering tuition and grant relief as well. Check this one out if you need a bit of assistance right now.

The benefits are to the students, the staff, and in general, to the society that is trying to prevent the spread of this disease any further. It’s not an easy task, but a collective effort. There are drawbacks, of course. Every barber stylist student wants to stand beside their instructor during a new demonstration. Not every student has the tools and facilities of an entire barbershop at home. What we can do, however, is make use of the time and tools we do have available. 

Innovative teachers across the country are stepping up and doing just that!

For Teachers

How are we teaching through screens?

Let’s get down to the physical aspects of learning through a screen. Nothing should change much from a lecture in front of a chalkboard to a lecture on a screen, right? Not so simple. Every class and subject has a different structure. Fortunately, technology offers different modes to deliver each of the components of your class.

Sometimes it can be difficult to run a live stream. The following are options that are being successfully used by educators. Remember, each student has unique needs. Instructors can use the following options to create modified packages. 

Tips For Barber Stylist Instructors:

Reading Assignments. Reading chapters out of your usual class textbook or workbooks should not need to change. Supplement your readings with online articles to keep your students engaged.

Powerpoint Slides. For a barber stylist program, demonstrations are vital. Take progression photos of short demonstrations and put them together in a powerpoint presentation. Use it as you lecture to your students. You can also assign homework for students to return their own progress photos. 

YouTube Videos. Technology really does give us a wealth of video lessons online. Online school is not a new concept. Find your lessons on YouTube, review them, and email them to your students. 

Live Instruction. Your main mode of teaching is the same as standing in front of your class. Pretend you are exactly there and instruct your students on conference calls. You can do so in batches to better manage smaller groups, too. 

Instructor Videos. The biggest problem we are running into is buffering speeds on our video calls. Not everyone has the luxury of high speed internet at home. In this case, you will need to make videos of your week’s main demonstrations. If this week’s lesson is a certain haircut or style or color, take the time to shoot the best video you can and email it to your class. 

Discussion Board. Your students no longer have access to peer discussion every day in class. If possible, create a discussion board for your students to create posts and threads. If not, maybe even an email thread. 

Here is some helpful advice to lead your students to a better distance learning experience.

Participate and Stay Active

As we know, this is all new to us, student and teacher alike. In this new social norm, we know to be there for each other, check in on each other, and be patient. The same goes in our new learning environment. 

Students, you’ll find it can be very helpful to keep your mind off of the anxieties of the news by focusing on your studies. You can’t go outside and stay active in your regular routine right now. Instead, stay active and participate in class. Suggest some fun activities you can do with your classmates or study with a buddy over video chat. 

It’s okay to take it one day at a time. We’re all in this together. Stay positive, reach out, keep studying and be safe!

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