Teaching relies heavily on vocal communication, which puts pressure on your voice and your vocal health. Your voice is a vital tool of your trade, so make sure you protect it.
- Dry or cold air can contribute to throat or vocal irritation, so take care to make sure your classroom is warm and humid.
- Drink plenty of water if speaking for long periods
- When managing your class, consider practical aspects that may conserve your voice such as location, grouping, concise phrasing and visual communications
- Where possible, avoid speaking over noise, reduce unnecessary noise and bring students closer to you rather than trying to make your voice stretch.
- Watch your breathing and make sure it is rhythmic and relaxed.
- Pause during speech to allow time to rest and breath
- If you are consistently hoarse or having sore throats, consult your GP and, if necessary, arrange a consultation with a specialist
- Silence is golden – take a period of silence after class or in the evenings. Vocal rest is vital for prevention and recovery.
The HSE’s speech and language therapists on the Tralee Primary Care Teams have developed a short video to provide guidelines on voice care for teachers. This video can be viewed here.
More information on health and safety in schools