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My first after-school job as a teenager was to coach the elementary school flag football team. I took that team from its record of 0-10 to 10-0 in two years. I think that was my first clue that maybe I had some talent to teach. In college I continued to coach teams and stay involved in a lot of athletics.
This same instinct showed up when my dad took me to my very first hair show, where I saw Vidal Sassoon on platform. I knew then that I wanted to be up there someday teaching hairdressers, even though my dad told me that teaching was "no money and all ego".
I wanted to prove him wrong. What I discovered is that if ego drives your teaching, you won't get very far. At Redken it was Christine Schuster, now senior vice president of education, who helped me to understand how to conduct learner-focused education. Redken also put me into a classroom with author/motivator Blair Singer, and that's when my platform career really took off. After that point I began teaching from the perspective that the lesson was all about the learner, not the teacher. My coaching background kicked in, and all I had to do was develop great questioning skills. Then with every point I wanted to teach, I could guide the learner to identify options and select the option that's most appropriate. I incorporate three components into every presentation:
Audiences are more intelligent than ever and expect a lot from education.
Redken has inspired me to help salon professionals not only through the words that I say but by truly serving them. Redken provided me lenses through which to see the wonders that happen all the time in the world of education. Try it sometime!