Use and Care of Voice for Teachers
As a teacher your voice is your most important tool. Learn how to effectively use and care for your voice.
Duration | 45 minutes
“Teachers are at least eight times more likely to have voice problems than other workers.” (National Education Union, 2019)
As a teacher the most important tool you have is your voice.
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 might 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. A survey conducted by the Royal National Institute of the Deaf found that teachers in almost 60% of schools complained of vocal problems. Resulting staff absence has a cost of around £15 million a year (Paver, 2011).
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.
Use and Care of Voice for Teachers is a simple, cost effective way to develop teacher understanding of how to use their voice effectively in the classroom, both in terms of minimising the likelihood of vocal problems and improving classroom presence.
Use and Care of Voice for Teachers develops understanding of voice production, vocal variety and vocal health. The course includes a range of practical exercises and reflection opportunities to support teachers in using their voice effectively in the classroom. Optional links throughout the course mean the learning journey can be personalised to meet 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
Use and Care of Voice for Teachers is suitable for educators in all sectors – from early years establishments to higher education institutions.
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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): 107-16. doi: 10.3109/14015439.2012.660499. Epub 2012 Mar 20.