Voice Care for Teachers
As a teacher, your voice is your most important tool. Learn how use it, and care for it, effectively.
Duration | 45 minutes
Voice Care for Teachers | “Teachers are at least eight times more likely to have voice problems than other workers.” (National Education Union, 2019)
You use your voice to question, clarify, challenge and engage. You use your voice to provoke thinking and manage behaviour. You rely on your voice in the classroom. You may even take it for granted.
But what happens if you suffer problems with your voice or, worse, lose it completely?
It’s very hard to teach if you have no voice…
A study from Greenwich University found that 50% of NQTs suffer from voice loss in their first year in teaching (Martin, 2003).
However, it’s not just new teachers who are affected, many experienced teachers suffer voice problems too. For example, a survey conducted by the Royal National Institute of the Deaf found that teachers in almost 60% of schools complained of vocal problems (Paver, 2011).
As a result, staff absence has a cost of around £15 million a year.
It is well recognised that voice training is important for new teachers, however this is currently only addressed by some initial teacher education programmes.
Also lacking at present is an affordable and accessible refresher course for experienced teachers – something that the National Union of Teachers has identified as necessary to support teachers in protecting their voices.
Designed by a teacher for teachers, this course addresses that gap.
Voice Care for Teacher Course Objective
Firstly, help teachers understand how to use their voice effectively in the classroom to improve classroom presence and enhance learner engagement. Secondly, minimise the likelihood of vocal problems. Thirdly, offer advice on what to do should voice problems arise.
Use and Care of Voice for Teachers develops understanding of voice production, vocal variety and vocal health.
There are practical exercises and reflection opportunities throughout the course. A number of optional links mean each learning journey can be personalised according to individual professional development needs.
Section 1 | Voice production
Section 2 | Posture and breathing
Section 3 | Audibility and vocal variety
Section 4 | Non-verbal communication
Section 5 | The impact of the physical environment
Section 6 | How to avoid vocal fatigue
Section 7 | What to do when voice problems hit
The course is particularly suitable for classroom teachers however educators in all sectors, from early years to higher education institutions, can benefit. This course can also be helpful for private tutors and people who work with children and young people in informal settings, such as sports clubs, dance class and after school clubs.
E: [email protected] | T: 0131 661 8253
Martin, S. (2002) An exploration of factors which have an impact on vocal performance and vocal effectiveness of newly qualified teachers/lecturers. Available at: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/8761/5/Stephanie%20Parke%20Martin%202003%20-%20redacted.pdf[Accessed: 23/09/18].
National Education Union (2019) Voice Care. Available at: https://neu.org.uk/site-search?search_api_fulltext=voice [Accessed: 14/03/19].
Paver, C. (2011) Can you hear me at the back? Available at: http://.catherinepaver.com/20110121.html [Accessed: 23/09/18].
van Houtte, E., Claeys, S., Wuyts, F. & van Lierde, K. (2012) ‘Voice disorders in teachers: occupational risk factors and psycho-emotional factors’ in Logoped Phoiatr Vocol. 37(3).