When people find out I teach at a beauty high school, their curiosity automatically peaks and the questions start to flow.
What kind of English do I teach? Is it beauty specific?
Are there boys at the school?
What will the students do when they graduate?
Are they creative?
Just general English. Yes, for every 10 girls, there’s one boy. They’ll probably end up at beauty salons around the province.
As for the creativity? Saying ‘yes’ would be an understatement.
These kids may not be going to college (which is a huge thing when you live in an education-obsessed society) but they have some incredible talent.
I’ve heard it remarked from fellow native English teachers in my area, teaching at middle school, that they’re disappointed when the end of the school year comes and a few of their students are heading to the beauty high school rather than an academic one. They see it as kind of a failure.
But, for me, I get to witness something more than the practical hairdressing and make-up skills they’ll use to support themselves after school (rather than dive straight into poverty); I get to see them work hard at creating their final 3rd grade products.
They get to do whatever they want, without the influence of a teacher, and express themselves in whatever artistic way takes their fancy.
Then, at the end of the year, they get to showcase their work in the school’s annual festival: