Modern Barber
Modern Barber


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TEACHER TRIBULATIONS

MIKE TAYLOR

Everyone wants to be an educator right now. All I can say is: go and work in a barbershop first. No one teaches well without first-hand experience. You shouldn’t learn barbering with the intention to be an educator, you should do it for the love of the craft.

The online world has made the word ‘educator’ famous. People want to be recognised as an expert. For a lot of barbers it’s all about image and what’s on their social media. But really it should be about lasting legacy, not how many likes you get. When people pay a lot of money for a course, they think they’re qualified to be a teacher. That’s just not the case, or the reality.

Before becoming an educator ask yourself: how many years have you been barbering? Have you had experience with finances and business? You should know how to pay tax, how to deal with staff and manage awkward customers. These are things you learn on the job, not on a course.

“DON’T SKIP ALL OF THE BEST PARTS OF THE INDUSTRY...YOU BAKE A CAKE TO EAT IT, NOT TO TEACH SOMEONE ELSE HOW TO BAKE A CAKE”

I only consider training people to teach who have been a barber for a long time and have had experience of managing a shop. Right now the only people I teach to be educators are my staff. I know as teachers that they will have to deal with Ofsted and write detailed feedback on their learners’ development to get funding. There’s a lot of admin and time management involved. A lot of people are great at training people – but they’re not good at the theory and paperwork.

When you’re actually ready to be an educator, then go to an established college and give up your time for free to see if you like it. That’s what I did. I just couldn’t get staff so I went in to start teaching unpaid and the college ended up investing in me – and the best news was that I got staff out of it.

To be honest, even I’m still learning how to teach! It’s hard work and it’s not what you see on social media. Don’t be in a rush to be a teacher - enjoy the barbering community first. Don’t skip all the best bits of the industry, like the day-to-day shop life.

At the end of the day, you bake a cake to eat it, not to teach someone else how to bake a cake!

This article appears in the January - March 2022 Issue of Modern Barber

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This article appears in the January - March 2022 Issue of Modern Barber