I hope you are having fun hopping around and feeling happy 🙂 Since I work in an elementary setting I wanted to share some speechie information that would benefit both the big and the small at school. So as part of Better Speech and Hearing Month, here are some facts and tips about vocal hygiene.
Did You Know…
* Teachers are 32 times more likely to report voice problems than most other professions.
* Teachers have little to know time to recover from vigorous daily vocal use.
* Teachers will do at least 2-3 vocal abuse behaviors per hour during their work day.
So what is vocal abuse? Good question! Vocal abuse is any behavior that damages or reduced the quality of the vocal mechanism. Some of those behaviors are:
– excessive taling
– excessive loudness or shouting
– constant throat clearing
Sound familiar? These behaviors apply to both children and adults. If behaviors like this are done for an extended amount of time it can cause some problems like swellings, laryngitis, and the most common, vocal nodules.
Vocal Hygiene Tips
So what can you do to keep your voice safe and healthy? Here are some tips for students and teachers that can help.
– Instead of shouting to get your kids attention use and ‘All Quiet’ sign. Yes, it may take an extra few seconds to get their attention but it will help to keep your voice safe.
– Arrange your desks to allow for walking and movement, such as a horse shoe pattern. Moving around the room helps your students hearing you equally and keeps you from raising your voice so the kids in the back can hear you.
– Try and reduce the amount you use for voice before and after classes so you have some vocal recovery time.
– Instead of constantly clearing your throat, try a hard swallow instead.
– We know smoking has lots of health risks and one can damage to your voice. Reducing smoking and alcohol consumption can help to keep your voice healthy.
– If you take over the counter medications for allergies or colds, up the water intake!
– Avoid throat lozenges with mint. Mint can increase acid reflux in some people. Stomach acid, as you can guess, is not good for your vocal health.
– DRINK LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS OF WATER!!!! Not sure how much is enough? Think of your body weight as ounces and 50% of that is how much water you should be drinking daily. Here is an example.
If a person is 100lbs we are going to think of it as 100 oz. Half of 100 is 50, so this person should drink 50 ounces of water a day.
– If a student needs someone’s attention, they should be encouraged to go and approach the person they need rather than shout.
– Keep a voice chart in your room so students can be referred to it if they are being too loud for the setting.
– HAVE THEM DRINK WATER! Kids do not drink enough water, shocking, I know. Let students have a water with them during their day and encourage ‘water breaks’ before subject transitions. Their are lots of spill proof water bottles out there for kids to choose from.
I hope you have learned some tips to keep your voices happy and healthy. Here is my secret letter for the blog hop. You will need this letter to complete the password to enter the awesome raffles at the end.