Great Things Happening at CAVIT
William Snyder, the Career and Technical Education Specialist at CAVIT, recently walked into a CAVIT cosmetology classroom and noticed that veteran cosmetology teacher Jessica Brooks’ computer was facing backward with a manikin head placed in front of the screen. Ms. Brooks was demonstrating how to do a pin curl for her students who were attending class virtually. The placement of the manikin and the computer made executing a pin curl no easy task, but the students were able to get a close view of the technique. “She did such an unbelievably amazing job!” Snyder said, “And no one asked her to do that. That’s something she came up with on her own.”
Ms. Brooks is one of three cosmetology teachers at CAVIT. She has been a professional cosmetologist for 20 years and has been teaching for 14. Hair coloring is her favorite subject to teach. She says, “Coloring is the hardest!” But she enjoys it because she knows from her own experience how difficult it is. “I try to draw from experience and stuff from when I was in school. Like, what I didn’t understand or what I didn’t really get, and I try to explain it.”
Ms. Brooks continues explaining that students need to be able to practice in order to truly master new skills, especially in the cosmetology field. Practice is something CAVIT provides not only in classrooms but also in clinics. Clinics provide work-based learning opportunities for students to apply the skills they learn in the classrooms. Students participate in clinics as they near graduation and Ms. Brooks says, “I hope that [the clinics] provide the students with a base to be more confident on their own.”
CAVIT’s cosmetology program has 23 graduating seniors this year. So what happens once students are out of the classroom? Ms. Brooks says, “When you’re new and coming out into the field, it’s a little scarier [than the classroom experience].” So she strives to equip her graduates with life skills as well as technical skills. One of the most important lessons she tries to instill is that it’s impossible to please everyone, and she tries to teach her students how to cope when things go wrong. She explains that “the point of cosmetology school is to get [students] into the field working,” but adds that if a student has a poor experience early in their career, they may get discouraged. By encouraging life lessons in her classes, she hopes to be able to give students the tools they need to set up their clientele and have a chance at a successful career.
We wish our graduating seniors every success as they embark on their new careers!