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5 Essential Voice Care Tips for Teachers

Are you taking care of your voice?

Read our five essential voice care tips for teachers to make sure you’re never without your primary teaching resource – your voice!

 

Adequate voice care should be a priority for teachers. After all, your voice is your primary tool and your most used resource in the classroom. Despite this, many teachers neglect their voices and place incredible stain on their voices each day.

According to the National Union of Teachers (NUT), teachers are up to eight times more likely to experience difficulties such as voice loss than in other professions. Newly qualified teachers are said to be the most prone to voice loss and throat problems.

Voice loss and throat problems ultimately lead to staff absences and place a great deal of strain on school resources. It is thus a no-brainer that every teacher should start paying more attention to their voice and put these five voice care tips for teachers into practice.

  1. Breathe

The use of breathing techniques similar to those used by singers is the best way to ensure vocal health and comfort. Before you raise the volume of your voice, it’s important to take a deep breath in that fills your lungs and makes use of the diaphragm. A useful cue to enable you to do this effectively could be to inflate your tummy with air before bellowing across a noisy room or hall. It may feel silly at first but the reduction in sore throats will be worth it!

      2. Water

Drink plenty of water to lubricate and moisten the larynx. Being sufficiently hydrated will improve your overall health and this will support the voice in standing up to the demands place upon it.

     3. Avoid lozenges and throat sprays

These won’t do your throat any good. Sweets such as mints and pastilles are helpful though as they can help to keep the larynx moist. I have heard that sucking on marshmallows can be helpful too but I’m not sure a marshmallow is quite as discreet as the alternatives!

      4. Use it less

The best way to reduce the amount of strain placed on your voice is to use it less. Develop plenty of non-verbal cues for crowd control such as a raised hand. Point at objects and use hand signals without uttering a word and employ strategies such as silent modelling. Not only will all these non-verbal cues save your voice but they will also increase independent thinking and attention levels in learners.

    5. See your GP or occupational health doctor

If your voice is frequently hoarse, weak or tired and you find yourself struggling to project your voice sufficiently, it’s time to see a medical professional. A doctor maybe able to refer you to a ear, nose and throat specialist or they could get your employer to make adaptations to your working environment and offer training to keep you fit and healthy and effective.

For further information and guidance on voice care, follow the links to the websites below:

https://www.teachers.org.uk/voicecare

http://voicecare.org.uk/

 

 

 

 

By | 13 October, 2015 | Blog

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