Do I need a voice to teach?

Slice of Life

March 28, 2012

This is a second post talking about the lack of voice.   The first was the lost of life in our community.    This no voice is a literal one.  I have spent the last two days teaching with no voice what so ever.  It is interesting to watch a group of over talkative students deal with a teacher who has no voice.    It began Tuesday morning when my voice quickly slipped to a whisper in morning meeting and never came back.   The class also slipped into a whisper and quietly went off to work.   I have not yet figured that one out but it always happens.  When I am without a voice and whispering they join me in the quiet space.   They spent the day reading and writing about Jackie Robinson for a contest that the local Twins team puts on.  Maybe they just liked reading about Jackie because it was really quiet all day.

Today was another story.  They were not into the quiet working – it appeared in their minds they could not hear me to I must not be there.   I so needed that bell I had left at home to get their attention.   I tried the lights idea for awhile- turning them on and off as needed to get their attention but that only worked a few times.  By lunch time I just went around to those who had heard me and were following directions and sent them to lunch – the others finally looked up and realize the class was leaving.  The look on their face was priceless.

As the day went on I found this strategy of going to individuals and asking them to do something or get ready to leave the room was very effective.  I had a quiet moment with most students.  They enjoyed the quiet whispering we had and the large group of noisy students slowly began to settle.  They realized that they were missing out on something.  They were not quite sure what we were talking about in our whispers and we did not share our private moments.

Dismissal was very funny since several students almost got locking into the room because they had cleaned up but were not watching when I silently sent the others out the door to their lockers.  Those students who had connected with me over smiles, hand signs and whispers all day were extra friendly as we walked to the bus.  Extra hugs, waves and grins came from all of them.   I was calmer, they were happy and we all made it out the door.

Who says I needed a voice today!

Well, just don’t watch the video of the science lesson -that one needed more teacher modeling with a voice – we will try that again on a day I can talk.  🙂


About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, care for my Grandson and write. Life is good!
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