I shared this PowerPoint in a video a long time ago, but I wanted to remind you guys in my new video Video: Free Professional Development Voice Disorders since you may be planning ahead for a staff meeting this spring. Grab my free PowerPoint presentation geared for an audience of teachers, who are professional voice users disproportionally impacted by voice disorders. And I talk a little at the end of the video about my son’s voice disorder too (I’m going to have to do a separate video about that…)
Teaching Leads to Voice Disorders
Teaching is a job with significant voice use — and overuse. Jobs like musical performance also fall into this same category because you need your voice to work. Additionally, you need to project your voice to a crowd. That’s how teachers can strain their voices, which leads to hoarseness and more seriously to voice disorders.
Yelling is Vocal Abuse
I don’t know if you knew this but yelling is vocal abuse. That’s because it puts strain on the delicate muscles inside the “voice box.” Try to stop yelling and if you feel like you cannot, considering wearing a microphone or some type of amplification device in the classroom. It will save your voice, which you want to do. You need your voice to be there for you for years to come.
Vocal hygiene refers to what you do with your voice to save it. If you are at risk for a voice disorder, here are some things you can do to help your voice:
- Stay hydrated. The muscles in your voice and the membranes covering them need water to move optimally.
- Reduce consumption of liquids that dry out your voice. Reduce drinking coffee and alcohol.
- Do not visit smoky places. Avoid breathing smoke, which irritates your voice box.
- Period of vocal rest. Have times of the day where you do not talk, especially after a day of heavy vocal use.
- Don’t yell. As a mentioned before, it is vocal abuse.
- Don’t whisper. Whispering puts a strain on your vocal folds or muscles of the voice box. If you do become hoarse, talk normally even if your voice quality is off. It’s actually better than whispering.
- Don’t clear your throat. When you clear your throat, you rub those vocal folds together and it’s tough on them. If you feel something stuck in there, do a quick, forceful cough.
Free Professional Development Teachers Need
Teachers need to know that their profession causes more voice disorders than virtually any other (beside singing). That’s where this free Powerpoint comes in. Share it with staff so that they learn how to protect their voices and avoid having to see a doctor.