Everyone wants to be an educator right now. But according to Mike Taylor from Mike Taylor Education, 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. They want to be recognised as an expert. For a lot of people it’s all about image and what’s on their social media. But really it should be about legacy. 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 seen trends change? Have you had experience with finances and business? You should know how to pay tax, how to deal with staff and be able to manage awkward customers. These are things you learn on the job, not by taking a course.
“I only consider training people who have been a barber for a long time and had experience of managing a shop. At the moment the only people I teach to be educators are my staff. I know as teachers that they will have to deal with Ofsted, write detailed feedback on their learners’ development to be able 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 I got staff out of it.
“To be honest, even I’m still learning how to teach! It’s hard and it’s not what you see on social media. Don’t be in a rush to be a teacher – enjoy the barbering community. Whatever you do, don’t skip all the best bits of the industry. At the end of the day, you bake a cake to eat it, not to teach someone else how to bake a cake!”
Come and see Mike on the Business Learning Stage at Barberfest on 10 July – tickets available here