A Teacher’s Most Valuable Tool


It’s that time of year again…the start of a new school year!

What is the teacher’s most valuable tool? -The voice of course!

Did you know that teachers have the highest vocal demands of any other profession? According to Dr. Michael Pitman, 58% of teachers will develop a voice disorder in their lifetime, compared to 20% percent of people in the general population. In fact, with increasing class sizes and poor acoustic environments, voice issues among teachers has been increasing over the years. This has consequently led to temporary voice disorders as well as permanent voice disorders in the profession.

So what is the trick for teaching at a highly effective level without vocal strain?

• Keep the vocal cords hydrated by drinking six to eight glasses of water a day.

• Rest the voice when it’s not necessary to use it.

• Spread out the vocal demands throughout the day by using quiet work time or group assignments.

• Using non-vocal cues to gain students’ attention

• Steering clear of menthol, eucalyptus and mint lozenges — they might provide relief in the short term, but are actually damaging to the voice (Pitman, 2014).

Here at the Suffolk Center for Speech we have a highly trained team of professionals to educate and treat a variety of voice disorders and symptoms you may be experiencing.

Did you know?

The Suffolk Center for Speech now offers Stroboscopy. Stroboscopy is used as an evaluative measure for voice patients. The endoscopic view allows clinicians to observe the integrity of the vocal folds, as well as observe any laryngeal pathology such as vocal fold paralysis or vocal nodules. The objective features of Stroboscopy allow clinicians to measure the fundamental frequency (F0) of voice production, as well as observe the vocal folds during phonation. The movement of the velum can also be assessed using this device, and may be useful for patients with velopharyngeal insufficiency.


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