Voice care is an essential aspect of a teacher’s career. Teachers use their voices as primary tools of the trade and, on average, speak more during the day than professionals in other fields. Without proper care, teachers are at risk of voice strain, fatigue, and even long-term damage. Here are several strategies for teachers to maintain vocal health.
1.Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water throughout the day keeps vocal cords lubricated. Avoid caffeine and alcohol as they can dehydrate you.
2.Warm Up Your Voice: Just like athletes warm up before a game, teachers should warm up their voices before speaking extensively. Simple humming or gentle scales can increase circulation to the voice box.
3.Maintain Good Posture: Good posture supports better breathing which is crucial for speaking. Stand or sit straight with shoulders back and chin level.
4.Don’t Strain: Try not to shout or whisper excessively as both can strain your voice. Use a microphone when speaking to a large group if one is available.
5.Rest Your Voice: When you’re not teaching, give your voice a break. Avoid talking over noise and rest your voice when you’re feeling unwell.
6.Avoid Throat Clearing: Clearing your throat can slam your vocal cords together and cause damage over time. A sip of water or silent cough is less harmful.
7.Breathe Properly: Use diaphragmatic breathing (breathing from the diaphragm rather than shallow chest breathing) to support your speaking.
8.Minimize Throat Infections: Wash your hands regularly and avoid sharing utensils or drinks to reduce the risk of throat infections that can amplify voice problems.
9.Seek Professional Help: If you experience persistent hoarseness or voice loss, consult an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat doctor) who specializes in voice.
By incorporating these practices into their daily routine, teachers can protect their voices against the demands of their profession.