Sore throat

anyone else getting a sore throat half way during teaching?
anyone have any good solutions?

Stop drinking coffee before class.

Don’t get dehyrated.

[quote=“erico”]anyone else getting a sore throat half way during teaching?
anyone have any good solutions?[/quote]

Teach for ten years and yell a lot. You’ll get the throat of steel. (clock is running…how long before chewycorns sees filth in that comment. :slight_smile:)

Stop yelling at your kids. :idunno: Seems simple enough. If you have to yell, then you’ve lost control. Try talking really quietly when you need to get their attention. I love the effect fading my voice out has on my kids, both the big ones and the little ones. When you get loud, they tend to only get louder and I’ve always found it stupid to shout “Be quiet” which only adds to the volume. Start up a new signal for quieting your class down, like a thumb up in the air or a certain song. I have a song I sing to my little ones when we have circle which gets quieter as I sing it. If everyone is gathered, but some are talking, I quietly praise the ones who are sitting by saying, “I like the way Jeff is sitting.” or “Thank you, Jennifer, for sitting so quietly. You look like you are all ready for a story.” It works for almost every single one of 20 preschoolers because they also want to be praised for doing a good job listening.

Well, if I did that, my kids would just ignore me. :slight_smile: I teach in a loud voice, not a yelling one, but a commanding and demnading of attention one for sure. :slight_smile:

Try it, and tell me how it works out. I find praise works much better than yelling. I also have research to back me up on this.,1510,5869,00.html … click=true … Siena.html

From … story2.cfm

[quote]Reacting to a problem generally escalates the problem, while being proactive usually helps to deescalate or avoid the problem in the first place.

Reaction is filled with emotion, NOT thought. It is a human physical and emotional reaction to a stimulus. Our reactions are not always productive.

What do the following common teacher reactions accomplish?

  • Yelling

  • Arguing with students

  • Criticizing the student

  • Throwing students out of the room

Proactive measures are filled with careful thought and planning. They seek to avoid intensifying problems while seeking a solution to any existing problem.

  • Students’ behaviors are generally NOT personal, but we often take it personally.

  • If it IS personal, aren’t we the grown-ups in the situation?

  • Reaction interprets and acts upon the problem as a personal attack.

  • Proactive people view the situation as a problem to solve.[/quote]

Praise always works, but how you give it has to be adjusted as the kids get older and more sophisticated. Teens are the hardest to give praise for since accepting praise can be a negative for them. Kindy kids are the easiest to give praise to, they eat it up.

For the OP: I always buy a couple bottles of sports drink. If I start to get a little parched I just break it open and drink it. Don’t let the condition get worse. As soon as your voice starts to go drink tons of fluids.

Personally, I usually lose my voice because of over-doing special voices. I prefer to let my eyes do all the yelling I need. :smiley:

[quote=“erico”]anyone else getting a sore throat half way during teaching?
anyone have any good solutions?[/quote]

I think if you have a sore throat you may be speaking too much.

I suggest hot water with lemon and honey.

actually i rarely drink coffe or yell in class. Im just not used to talking for such long periods of time. Im sure my voice will become accustomed to being used so much but I just dont want to strain it.

I’ve been teaching for five years, I never yell, and I still get a sore throat. Just be sure to have a bottle of water with you in the class and drink it all the time, even before your throat starts to feel dry.

Try teaching a class without speaking.

Got my teenagers interested right from the start.

Chalk dust is another factor. Do you use chalk? I have returned to the mighty chalk board and I always have a sore throat. I drink some very nasty ‘local’ brew that helps my throat no end. Not sure about the effects on my breath though… I will ask mrs. hill what the chinese name is for you.

Don’t yell is good advice, depending on the age you teach find a suitable control that doesn’t strip your throat. I often talk more quietly when they are noisy, or ask them to repeat what you, or their classmate just said. They look super stupid when they can’t do it.

Ah yes, the repeat method. That one is great with older kids. Also throwing their names into what you are saying also gets their attention quickly…ask them whether or not they agree with the speaker had just said. If they say yes and you know they weren’t paying attention, ask them why they agree.

“So you use an adverb when you want to describe Johnny verbs or adjectives.” Chances are, you’ll get Johnny’s attention once he’s heard his name without really interrupting what you are saying and perhaps he’ll start focusing on what you are saying.

  1. keep the pipes wet
  2. learn to control your own volume; you might be speaking more loudly than needed
  3. try breathing from the diaphram and projecting a deeper, more relaxed voice; you might be stressing your vocal cords by speaking in an unnecessarily high, stressed voice
  4. firm discipline to keep the class quiet, and rewards for good behavior, keeping the noise down, etc.
  5. use a handclap or a prop that makes noise when you need to get attention or let a student know they’ve made an error.
  6. establish simple hand signals like one finger for singular, two for plural, a thumb gesture over the shoulder for past tense, a finger foward for future, a finger down (like “here”) for present tense, a circular motion for continuous tense, etc. It might sound farfetched, but you can easily establish these signals by just doing them as you say each word, like “past tense”, and after a few days of doing them together, wean them off the spoken words, leaving only the signals, and the students will never even realize you’ve established a silent signals system…

I’ve been doing this last one, along with small shakes of the head “no”, rather than speaking, for a number of years, because I’ve had chronic vocal chord problems. My adult students can often correct their own error once I let them know they’ve made one by tapping my pen on the table (if they’re not looking at me) or a shake of the head. If they still don’t get it I can use a hand signal or write on the board. I find I can cut my speaking down by 75% this way, and the students don’t mind. By just letting them know there’s an error, but not telling them the correct answer immediately, I also find that it forces them to think more, and pay more attention to their own grammar.

I haven’t read the whole thread (yet), so i"m sorry if I am repeating.

I once witnessed an amazing technique of getting control of a rowdy class.

The teacher clapped 3/4 times. Then clapped a short easy rhythm. Then repeated the rhythm.

A few students copied.

She clapped another easy rhythm.

More students joined in. At this point the rowdiness had been subdued a lot.

She now clapped a slighlty more challenging rhythm. About half the class or more copied. (when you have about half the class clapping it is near impossible for the others to talk!)

The next rhythm saw the whole class joining in. Now everyone was attentive and nobody COULD talk over the clapping.

She did this once or twice more, challenging and fun for the students.

She had the full attention of the class and she continued in a very calm manner. no raised voices, no rivavlry from students.

How do I get the attention of a rowdy class?

see above!!

Sorry to hear that your vocal cords are going south. Hope this info helps.
There is an excellent Taiwanese remedy for sore throat! Is is sold in every 7-11 I have ever been in. Just ask for a frask of Young Deer Antler. If the clerk doesn’t understand
English, it is in a brown bottle and has the picture of the head of a deer on it. It only cost about 125NT, and a half cup before any speaking engagement or class will certainly improve the tonal quality and resonance of your voice. I always carry a bottle in my book bag and keep one in my locker at school. Most Taiwanese politicians swear by it, and I can personally attest to it restorative and therapeutic qualities. Who says that Western medicine in the best?! No, it is not some snake oil/patent medicine. Just the perfect syrup for a sore throat.


Wanted to put up a second on the chalk dust thing. I’m a teacher in the US for a well-known test prep company. On Saturdays I’ll do a double shift, about six hours of class total – every new semester is always murder before I get used to it, and before I establish a good enough rapport with the students that I can use more nonverbal communication. But what really kills is the chalk dust – I’ll be proctoring a test, where I barely even have to talk, and my throat will start going just from breathing the chalk dust.

Learn how to use your voice so that it doesn’t take such
a toll on your throat. Learn how to sing. I can yell all day,
and sometimes I do, but my throat is none the worse
for wear.

Still using chalk boards in the US? and I thought it was a developed country.

Try using a wet rag to clean the board.


Still using chalk boards in the US? and I thought it was a developed country.

Try using a wet rag to clean the board.[/quote]

Hey, it’s a school in the north Bronx, I’m lucky there’s chalk :slight_smile:

The boards are actually always wet-cleaned when I come in, but I teach there for six hours, and they get pretty chalked up. No time to wait for the board to dry after ragging it though. And it seems like the air itself is filled with the dust… I dunno, maybe I’m crazy…