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Consistently loosing my voice!

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by bolz7891, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. Hello! ... I am currently on a PGCE and find myself consistently losing my voice when on placement! My first placement was for 3 weeks and at the end of the 3 weeks I got laryngitus, a chest infection and couldn't speak for a few days! I missed a whole week of uni from this! I am now 3 weeks into my second placement and have yet again lost my voice to the point of not being able to speak for the last 2 days! I could feel it going on Wednesday but felt like I kinda had to teach on Thursday as I need to fulfil my teaching requirements for the placement! After teaching most of the day on Thursday, I couldn't speak and thats been it since! As soon as i manage to get some voice back and speak it just goes again and my throat is so so painful! I know sore throats is a little bit of an occupational hazard with teaching but I am a little concerned at my throats inability to cope with teaching all day (I end each day with a painful throat also!)! I am not a 'loud' speaking kinda teacher, I have a fairly calm manner and do not consider myself to raise my voice at all in the classroom or on very rare occasions! Does anyone have any suggestions to strengthen my throat? Am I speaking incorrectly?! Thank goodness its half term and I don't have to talk much next week when back in uni!! :eek:)
     
  2. Get yourself some vocal coaching.
    The fact that you are talking when it is starting to go/feeling sore is very worrying indeed and not at all good for your voice long term. Don't even attempt to speak whilst it is barely there and sore. You need to take care of your voice as you only have one!
     
  3. Eva_Smith

    Eva_Smith Established commenter

    I agree with PFF. 2 years ago in my fifth year of teaching, I compeltely lost my voice. I struggled into work for 2 days without being able to speak a squeak. I did a pretty good job of using my projector to project instructions that I typed into a Word document and the kids just read and followed.
    However, you can't help but use your voice at least a little if a kid asks a question or they are being too noisy. Because I was feeling unwell too, the stress of trying to control a group without using my voice was awful. By the end of the 2 days I was exhausted and emotional from the frustration.
    Now, whenever I get even the slightest cold, or if I've been out for the evening where there's loud music, I get a sore throat or at the least and croaky voice.
    Rest, rest, rest. Don not even be tempted to go to work with a sore throat and definitely not if you've lost your voice. Stay at home, rest your vocal chords and DO NOT TALK. Keep hydrated, but do not aggravate your throat with drinks that are too hot or too cold. Keep warm by wearing a scarf.
    You've got (hopefully) another 40 years of talking for a career to get through. Do not ruin your most important tool now.
    Seek doctor's advice and, as PFF says, perhaps seek some vocal coaching to help you project you voice without straining.
     
  4. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    I can only echo what PFF and Eva have said. I had to have a term off some time ago when I lost my voice, and my consultant made it very clear that I would only ever have one set of vocal cords - if I damage them, that's me done in teaching.
    When I croak, I stay at home.
     
  5. I don't know. But voice or drama coaching will help. The most important thing for being heard is clear diction - just think of how little can be understood from a blaring loudspeaker - volume of vowel production is a secondary issue for making yourself understood. I suspect that even if your conversational speech is clear and quiet, you may have some issues with excessive tension in the throat that would be an issue in any job that required constant talking.
    Many people have a tendency to use the throat or the vocal chords directly rather than relaxing them and letting the chest muscles and the mouth do the harder work. You'll never nkow unless an expert has a good look at your speaking technique. But your voice is your prime asset. Care for it and find someone who can show you how best to do that.
     

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