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Maybe Don Pardo Should Teach

In order to improve their practice and student learning, what kind of training does a teacher need?

According to researchers in England, all of us should be taking voice lessons.

Teachers need expert voice coaching if they are not to bore children with monotonous lessons and damage their own health by shouting too much, a conference heard today.

Unemployed actors could provide training on how to project the voice and “perform” in class, said Philip Parkin, general secretary of the Professional Association of Teachers.

The call came after research showed that teachers with damaged voices that sounded hoarse or “breathy” often lost the attention of their pupils.

The only time I had voice problems was during the first two weeks of a new school year. After a couple of months talking like an adult, it was a shock to the vocal chords to be on stage in front of a room full of teens.

voice coaching, teaching


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  1. Chris

    Voice lesson wouldn’t be a bad idea. Luckily my school has equiped our classrooms with audio enhancement. I don’t have to worry about straining anything other than my students’ brains.

  2. I don’t think it’s so much “voice training” that teachers need, but perhaps “presence training.” In other words, teachers need to know how to command attention. Early on in my teaching career, I learned that I can communicate with my whole body, not just my voice. In other words, I could ue my hands as I talked and demand greater attention. Instead of always telling my students to be quiet when I wanted to speak I could simply stand in front of the room and look down, or look at my watch. By moving quickly through the room, I also maintained the attention of my students, while at other times it was more appropriate for me to walk very slowly. Having a commanding presence is so much more than simply having a strong voice.

    Andrew Pass

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