Your voice matters

Teachers must train and take care of their voices given the importance vocal communication plays in the profession, warns Australian Voice Association board member Dr Daniel Novakovic.

“Much like an athlete looks after their body to keep it in peak condition, teachers should care for the vocal folds; after all, these tiny instruments are one of your most valuable assets,” Dr Novakovic said.

Although teachers are the biggest group of professional voice users worldwide, they do not always receive training in efficient voice use or vocal care. A teacher’s voice has to deal with many challenges. Daily demands of effectively communicating with students, parents and colleagues, poor classroom acoustics and projecting the voice while on playground duty or during outdoor activities put strain on a teacher’s voice.

Dr Novakovic said that while many teachers accept that losing their voice from time to time or suffering from a raspy or hoarse voice is an inevitable part of teaching, this need not be the case. He believes that if teachers follow some simple tips and take care of their voices, there is no reason why they cannot maintain a healthy voice long beyond their teaching days.

“Remember that a hoarse voice is not ‘normal’. It is important to see an ear, nose and throat specialist for advice if your voice is hoarse for more than a few weeks, particularly if you are not a smoker or don’t have cold symptoms,” he said.

Visit www.australianvoiceassociation.com.au for more information. This article is edited from an article by Dr Daniel Novakovic. Federation does not provide health advice. The above article is for information purposes only and does not constitute health advice. Members are advised to consult a medical practitioner regarding their individual circumstances.