Setting the Tone

By Joanna Jones

I have recently been fortunate enough to observe various lessons in the Beauty department and want to share some of the good practice that I saw. The tutors that I have observed are particularly good at setting the tone so that the students are ready to learn.

The tutors are outside the class, before the lesson starts ready to greet the students with a cheery ‘Good Morning’ and a comment or question for everyone. Before the students enter the classroom the tutor checks them to ensure that they are wearing the appropriate uniform, in the appropriate way and that their hair is suitable tied back. If anyone isn’t dressed appropriately, they are kindly, but firmly told to go and change/put their hair up etc. As the students are used to this, the vast majority of them turn up ready to work in a commercial environment and if they do need to adjust their dress they are quite happy to do so.

The lesson then starts with the aims and objectives shared on the board, all resources/materials ready and happy students ready to learn. Anyone who is late is dealt with quickly, with very little fuss and integrated straight into the lesson with any explanations dealt with at an appropriate part of the lesson when it doesn’t disturb anyone else’s learning. A lively, active learning, recap activity is then recommended to check what the students have retained from the previous lesson, which will boost confidence and enable any gaps in knowledge to be filled, before moving on to any new learning.

This may seem obvious, but it is amazing how much of a difference a fair and consistent approach will make, the students will know what to expect and will be ‘trained’ to be ready to learn and will be confident as they know what to expect.

Another innovation I have recently seen for the first time is ‘Magic Whiteboard’, a roll of wipe off flip chart paper that sticks to the wall. It is absolutely brilliant for a recap activity or for students to write down their thoughts and ideas and then display them and because it is wipe-off, far more versatile than a roll of flip chart paper.



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