Voice Tips For Teachers During Online Teaching
Voice Tips For Teachers During Online Teaching
In the past couple of years, many teachers moved into an online mode of working to provide uninterrupted learning services during the Covid 19 restriction. This unconventional way of teaching posed many challenges as many of them felt an increased strain on their voice.
Teachers are professional voice users. They use their voice as the primary tool for teaching. They also rely on their voice to manage and discipline students. However, the use of the voice in an unhealthy manner can lead to vocal fatigue and many other problems. It is important that the teachers know these important voice tips on how to take care of their voice while taking online classes efficiently.
Read a detailed blog on Speech Therapy Tips for Teachers
Online classes and vocal fatigue:
Many teachers experience vocal fatigue after shifting to an online mode of teaching. By the end of an entire day of online teaching, they experience hoarseness, voice breaks, and tiredness.
What causes vocal fatigue?
There are many factors contributing to this vocal fatigue. Here are some of the possible causes:
Overcompensating with voice:
- One drastic difference between offline and online classes is the physical distance between the teacher and students. In offline classes, the students are physically present within the classroom. The teacher communicates not just through speaking but also by using gestures, glances, etc. Since there is no physical presence in the online mode, the teacher tends to overcompensate with their voice alone to reach out to the students.
2. Speaking with excessive loudness:
- To reach out to all the students in an online class, most of the teachers attempt to raise their loudness. They tend to forget that there is a microphone to pick up their speech that can amplify their voice.
3. Speaking for a longer duration:
- This can happen as an attempt to clarify all the doubts in teaching. Since the instructions need to be clear while delivering classes online, teachers tend to give explanations more than what is required. Also, they tend to speak more to make the class more engaging.
- Another reason can be speaking more to cover up for a silence that becomes obvious in an online class. This silence is normal while taking a class. In a face-to-face situation, this silence is usually masked by the background noise present in the classroom. Since in an online mode this background noise is absent, we notice it easily. They may think that the students are not following the lecture or that they are uninterested.
4. An inefficient work-from-home setup:
- This is probably the most fundamental part of online teaching that is mostly underlooked.
- While taking classes for an entire day on a laptop, there are high chances that you tend to slouch or lean against the laptop. This can affect your breath support as it puts strain on your neck and shoulder and affects effective breathing. Speaking continuously in such a posture can be tiring.
Here is an article on vocal fatigue and online teaching
Wondering if you have a voice problem? Check out our article on voice disorders
Here are some of the useful voice care tips for teachers during online teaching
Voice Tips for effective voice delivery in an online session:
Stop overcompensating for the physical barrier with your voice. Understand that the absence of physical presence is not going to make much difference. You can still deliver classes effectively at a comfortable voice level with the help of the microphone.
Be aware that you do not need to speak more to make the class engaging. You can use available digital resources to explain the concepts in an easier way that is also engaging for the students. Give some pause/time in between for the students to ask questions. You do not have to keep explaining with the intention of making the concepts clear.
Use facial expressions along with speaking to convey the matter. This can reduce the load on voice. Use a good-quality camera to capture your expressions clearly.
Be aware of the fact that you are speaking through a microphone that can amplify your voice. Try to speak in a comfortable loudness. Focus on speaking with clarity than being loud. You can invest in a good microphone that picks up your speech with clarity.
Create a good setup to make working comfortable. Get a chair that can provide good support to your spine and make your posture upright while sitting. Avoid slouching/leaning over to reach your computer/laptop. Try to set up the camera and the system in such a way that your alignment is not affected. This ensures good breath support.
Allow yourself some time to stretch your neck and shoulder. If comfortable then try to switch between standing and sitting while taking the class.
Hydrate frequently. Take enough sips of water to moist your vocal cords throughout the day.
You can find more voice tips for teachers here!
If you are someone who takes online classes, we hope you find these tips useful.
If you are facing any problems with your voice, please feel free to consult us.
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