In comparison to any other profession, teachers use their voice the maximum. Right from taking charge of the class, teaching, managing the students and addressing questions, teachers are constantly talking. While audio tools like microphones are used to address a larger audience, on a day-to-day basis, teachers have to only rely on the power and throw of their voice. After all, they have to be audible to each and every student.
The effect of constant talking, mostly at a pitch above your normal tone, hampers your voice. Studies reveal that most teachers face vocal problems, pain and irritation as a result of this. Voice is an important tool in teaching and needs to be looked at with more concern when it comes to teacher’s health. If the voice is not clear, the impact of what is said will be less. So how is it that a teacher can overcome this problem or at least begin to take more care towards maintaining a clear and healthy voice? Here are some quick tips from the expert:
Gargling: Start your day with gargles using warm water and salt. This is the best way to clear your throat for the day and keep your voice healthy.
Warm up with humming: Physicians often advise to warm up your throat and muscles before speaking. The best way as it appears is to hum softly as you feel a slight pressure on your throat and chest. This helps in clearing the throat and relaxes the muscles.
Never keep a dry throat: A bottle of water with regular refills can do wonders. Keeping oneself hydrated is very important, especially for teachers who juggle classes and are constantly talking. Water also helps clear your throat in the most natural manner as opposed to clearing it on your own. The force with which you clear may make you feel at ease for a moment but makes your voice harsh eventually. Sips of water will not let your throat dry out. Avoid ice cold water.
Avoid straining your voice: Try to speak as much in your normal tone as possible. Trying to be loud or screaming will only strain your voice and cause irritation in your throat. Use a mic wherever possible.
Don’t forget to breathe: Try not to talk continuously and take gaps in between to breathe. The best way is by talking slowly, asking students to respond so that you get minutes of break or by showing a presentation, video so that your voice can get some rest. Simply avoid being out of breath at any given time.
This article has been written with inputs from Dr. Mahesh Kapoor, ENT surgeon, HIMA Clinic, District Kullu. He advises readers to visit a physician or any expert in case they feel harshness in their voice. Prevention is always better than cure.