A cosmetology instructor serves as a model and source of inspiration for aspiring cosmetologists and cosmetology teachers. The instructor educates and molds students' practical knowledge and skills. When cosmetology students complete their course of instruction, they should be to pass the necessary examinations for licensing and embark upon a successful career path.
Rules and regulations for cosmetology instruction vary from state to state. A licensed instructor must know the law in his or her jurisdiction, including the state's curriculum guidelines. One of the primary duties of an instructor is creating lesson plans and demonstrations that meet state requirements. The instructor must cover the required subject areas, which generally include science, aesthetics and hairdressing and hygiene and sanitation. If teaching student-instructors, the instructor must develop additional lesson plans that focus on areas such as lesson development, lecturing and examination grading. An instructor must ensure students receive the proper mix of practical and theoretical instruction and that they spend the required hours covering each subject area.
Being a cosmetology instructor is a hands-on job. Instructors must actively engage in students' learning experience. For example, in Texas, student-instructors are allowed to teach other students but the licensed cosmetology instructor must provide direct supervision at all times. State law limits class sizes because a licensed instructor must be able to assess students individually. Their progress and performance has to be monitored. It's the instructor's duty to identify areas where students are having difficulty and to address them. If the instructor is teaching both cosmetologists and student-instructors, the instructor bears equal responsibility for the proper training of both groups.
Cosmetology instructors bear the responsibility of maintaining student files, such as grades and attendance records. Students must accrue a certain number of credit hours to receive a cosmetology license or an instructor's license. Some cosmetology schools use time clocks like those found on a job, but an instructor still needs to ensure credit hours are accurate and students' aren't improperly credited for smoke breaks or lunch periods. An instructor may also be responsible for sending students' records or Certificate of Training to licensing authorities.
If a cosmetology instructor teaches in his or her own facility, it must be kept compliant, making sure the building fits the proper specifications, has the proper equipment and remains licensed. When an instructor teaches at a cosmetology school, tabs need to be kept on student areas and problems, such as malfunctioning equipment, need to be reported. An instructor is also responsible for keeping all personal licenses current and that often requires meeting a state's continuing education requirements.
Felicia Dye graduated from Anne Arundel Community College with an associate's degree in paralegal studies. She began her writing career specializing in legal writing, providing content to companies including Internet Brands and private law firms. She contributes articles to Trace 775.com.