Losing my voice

Discussion in 'General Education' started by 4capulina, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. 4capulina

    4capulina Rookie

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    Jul 25, 2011

    I've been teaching for two years now (10th grade world history) & I am finding that my voice often gets tired during the day. I don't know if I'm talking too much or too loud or what, but my vocal chords ache sometimes after school & even during school. I teach small clases at a privare school.... Usually clases of 16 or so in a small room... Anybody got some advice for me?:dizzy:
     
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  3. KatherineParr

    KatherineParr Comrade

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    Jul 25, 2011

    My throat goes through periods like that, too. I think in history we tend to do a lot of storytelling and guiding of discussion and it's just a strain.

    For me, staying hydrated is a battle against needing to get to the teachers' restroom. With five sections...well you know. I drink water and coffee during the day, but not too much.

    My doctor says that it's possible that the problem is my tonsils. I said, "gee, a tonsillectomy at 40 sounds swell" and she said, "yes." Ouch.

    Soo...I feel your pain but don't really have any advice. Hydrate, try to talk less. Sorry.
     
  4. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    Jul 25, 2011

    I live with my water bottle.
     
  5. Croissant

    Croissant Comrade

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    Jul 25, 2011

    I had that problem during the first half of my student teaching. I think it was the classroom because when I moved down the hall I didn't have that problem. I had a teacher in high school who had no voice for a few days. She typed everything out in a word document projected onto the board and was very successful with it. I think it was the most involved we were all year long. She chose people to read what she typed in her voice etc. It wouldn't work forever, but if you were really in a bind it would probably work once or twice.
     
  6. MissAnt

    MissAnt Comrade

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    Jul 25, 2011

    I took a speech course in college (speech for the actor when I was a theater major) that taught us how to properly use our voice without injuring ourselves. It was an extremely helpful course. I changed majors that semester and my professor told me her course would come in handy. She also said she's helped many teachers who have injured their vocal cords.

    Here is a decent article about teacher vocal cord problems:
    http://www.crescent-news.com/news/article/2639602
     
  7. kme93

    kme93 Companion

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    Jul 25, 2011

    My first college major (of many) was vocal performance/music education. One of the things we learned early on was about protecting your voice. Speak at your natural pitch or a tad higher. Trying to pitch your voice lower while speaking loudly ("teacher voice" anyone?) can harm your vocal chords. Also, don't yell. Try speaking softer and use a quiet signal before you start talking. Drink LOTS of water and less caffene.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 26, 2011

    I lose my voice twice a year-- every spring and fall when the weatehr changes. I'm not a yeller at all. It even happend during the 5 years I was a SAHM.

    For what it's worth, I've always found that the kids are on their absolute best behavior when it happens.
     
  9. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Jul 26, 2011

    In addition to water, I like Halls Breezers when my voice starts to get rough.

    From the little bit I have done with singing and being on stage, I remember that caffeine, alcohol, and nutrasweet can dry out your throat, and milk products can make you very phlegm-y. Smoke also dries you out, but it can be smoke from anything, even a fireplace. Some types of heating and AC can be problematic.
     
  10. tchr4evr

    tchr4evr Companion

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    Jul 26, 2011

    Breathing

    As a theatre teacher and singer, here's the keys - many of which have already been said.

    Lots of water - no caffeine
    In cold weather - wrap your throat with a scarf, extreme in temperature ruin it
    Speak from your diaphragm, not your throat. If your throat hurts at all, you are doing something wrong.

    Practice your breathing - proper breathing is diaphragmatic breathing. Deep breath in through your nose, with expansion of the diaphragm, and exhale through the mouth, compression of the diaphraghm.

    Standing is better for projection. If you must sit, sit upright in a chair, not on a desk or stool or leaning on a podium

    Don't clear your throat - it irritates your vocal chords

    Speak a pitch or two higher than your natural voice.

    if you throat is sore at all--don't talk.

    And if the horrible happens, and you do lose your voice - overload on Vitamin C. I'm talking like 10,000 MG (a pill like every hour) Some people can't hande it and it upsets their stomach, but if you can, your throat problems will be gone in 24 hours.

    I've only lost my voice once, and this cured it. And I teach all day and direct shows every night after school, including singing and dancing, and some nights I go home and teach private voice.

    Hope this helps.
     
  11. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Jul 26, 2011

    I have lost my voice a number of times over the years.

    Last year, a hearing impaired child was in my room and they put in a RedCat audio amplification system. I was able to speak in a very low voice and everyone could hear me perfectly.

    I didn't have any voice problems last year, for the first time since I've been teaching.

    Next year I plan on buying a lower priced system. You can get a good one for less than $200. It's worth it to me.
     
  12. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jul 26, 2011

    I love that idea. I know an audiologist that insists that hose FM systems should be used in EVERY classroom, including those with full hearing.
     
  13. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Jul 26, 2011

    I had this problem constantly until we bought microphone systems for our classrooms. I'd give up all my computers, video cameras and projectors if I had to but if they tried to take away my mic I'd find another job.
     
  14. 4capulina

    4capulina Rookie

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    Jul 26, 2011

    Awesome advice... Keep it coming! I have so much support on this forum. :)
     
  15. tchr4evr

    tchr4evr Companion

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    Jul 26, 2011

    Wow, mics?!

    I could never teach with a microphone! I hate them. I won't let my theatre students use them, unless they're competing with an orchestra. I am the only person who is able to be heard a meetings, events without a microphone. Years of theatre training I suppose. But, hey, if it works for you . . . :)
     
  16. 4capulina

    4capulina Rookie

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    Apr 3, 2012

    Okay... Perhaps I'll do this b/c my voice continues to get weaker. :(
     

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