Tips for teaching when you've lost your voice :-(

Discussion in 'General Education' started by love2learn07, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. love2learn07

    love2learn07 Rookie

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    Sep 17, 2013

    Any tips for teaching when you have laryngitys or have lost your voice due to a cold/ allergy? I just started at a new school--unexpectedly and not by choice, but due to major problems and the reduction of positions in our district. My new school is quite challenging and I'm working overtime on trying to establish rules, consequences, redirect, etc.

    Last week my voice began giving out on me at the end of the week. I rested my voice as much as possible over the weekend, but I'm still extremely hoarse and can't project. I have large classes and although I'm going to talk with them in groups it's really a mess right now. I don't feel like calling out is an option and am planning on getting a whistle. Sorry for rambling but I'm frustrated and homesick (schoolsick? :help:) for my old school. Appreciate any tips on how I can manage these classes while my voice is so bad.
     
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  3. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Sep 17, 2013

    This happened to me last year for a solid week. I have no voice at all. I could barely squeak. Very frustrating! What I did was appoint a "Student Teacher" each day. I could whisper to him/her and that person was my voice each time I had to communicate. My class was surprising well behaved that week. I think they took pity on me, LOL.

    Good luck!
     
  4. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    Sep 17, 2013

    I just got over a head cold and recovered my voice. I was nearly mute for most of last week. Some of my classes are pretty rowdy, so I decided to just do what I could with my little voice (i.e. talk as loudly as possible). I also explained that I needed them to be extra quiet and attentive since I was so raspy and they needed to be able to hear me (this worked to a point).

    Instead of a whistle, you might want to get a bell. It just sounds nicer. :)
     
  5. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Sep 17, 2013

    I've always found that the best way to get a group of elementary kids to listen is to get quieter than to get louder. I don't know if it will work as well with older kids (sounds like you have middle schoolers or high schoolers). I always end up getting the best behavior out of my kids when I have laryngitis.
     
  6. PowerTeacher

    PowerTeacher Comrade

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    Sep 17, 2013

    I have a powerpoint slide that I record some of my common commands on when I had a good voice. When my voice goes I just hit a button and smile.

    Another fun solution is go to Voki. Click to make a new voki, but just type in the words you want to say and hit play. The Voki will read your words out loud through your speakers. You can even choose different accents.
     
  7. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Sep 17, 2013

    I lost my on a Friday and had to give a spelling test I wrote a note to my mentor teacher to borrow one of her older students to give test. Other than that...the kids were pretty quiet, so we could get through stuff...
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 17, 2013

    I lose my voice twice a year.

    Fortunately, I teach math... I can write just about everything.

    I always say teaching with laryngytis isn't a problem, but I would be in real trouble if I ever broke my right arm!
     
  9. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Sep 17, 2013

    Do you have a laptop you can hook up to a projector? I lost my voice last year and typed out everything I wanted to say. We were learning something new but were able to muddle through.
     
  10. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Sep 17, 2013

    I had bronchitis twice when I was student teaching, so I had to get creative on my feet. I made a bunch of signs and held up the appropriate one at the appropriate time. There was a lot of "popcorn" reading so the students could guide themselves.

    The students truly (usually) care about their teachers, and they will rise to the occasion and help you when you're unable to speak.
     
  11. kellzy

    kellzy Comrade

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    Sep 17, 2013

    Last year I got the flu in January, which led to pneumonia, which led to bronchitis, which led to a sinus infection. Then I got a cold. I started to get my voice back at the end of February, had it pretty regularly by mid-March, but it still gave out after too much use until early April.
    I relied heavily on visual cues. I used a lot of hand motions when I had to talk to help the kids understand what I was trying to say. I had cards that I would hold up that said things like, "Share with a neighbor," "Quiet voices" "Talk with your group!" "Return to your seat!" etc.
    When I had to talk, I had my mic up as loud as I could get it. We would do group reading with "Flying Frank" which is a stuffed pig I have that the students would throw from group to group to decide who would read next.
    I, do however, attribute a phenomenal gain in my reading scores to the fact that I had to type out a lot of directions and project them and having the kids choral read them out loud.
     
  12. love2learn07

    love2learn07 Rookie

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    Sep 20, 2013

    Thanks everyone!!!! Sorry I didn't get to reply sooner. Thank God my voice is improving so I am going to try to rest it as much as possible this weekend. I usually lose my voice about once a year, but I just felt terrible since it was the second week and I'm at a new school. Thankfully I made it through this week. I love all the ideas about holding up cards. I was typing pretty much everything out on the Promethean Board and going to small groups, but was still was having some major problems. Hopefully next week will be better. Kellzy that sounds like quite a year! Glad your kids scores had great gains though!
     
  13. littlemiskinder

    littlemiskinder Rookie

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    Sep 21, 2013

    I lose my voice at the beginning of EVERY school year. I have a bell that makes all different types of noises and teach the children the first few days what each noise means (ex: bells ringing means eyes on the teacher, space ship sound means clean up centers and get ready to rotate, trumpet sound means clean up and get ready for directions, etc.) This way I'm not yelling over them at different points in the day.
     
  14. love2learn07

    love2learn07 Rookie

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    Sep 21, 2013


    Sounds cool :) Where did you find it and do you think it could work with older kids?
     
  15. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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