Thursday, August 28, 2008


C is for Conserving My Voice

I’ve been having trouble with laryngitis lately, and it occurred to me a few days ago that one remedy is to simply not talk so much during class. Surely my scholars would applaud my efforts in that regard. They must hear hundreds of thousands of words spoken by their teachers each day, most of which pass directly through them like breezes through branches. They would surely appreciate a teacher who saves his voice by speaking only when his words are absolutely essential. I talked with my brother and sister-in-law (both veteran teachers) about this, and they suggested using hand signals instead of words whenever possible. During a discussion, it would be easy, for instance, to point to the speaker and then point to the previous speaker, indicating that we should build upon what the previous speaker had said. Also, when a speaker has finished, a simple, sincere smile from me could replace a string of words about how much I appreciated what was said. It’s something to work on – subtracting a little more needless “noise” from my classroom and substituting some desirable and useful silence.

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