The subject of a recent article in the Education section of The Huffington Post focuses on the manner in which teachers speak to their students. It highlights various examples of the success found by teachers of students in elementary through high school. While the concept of tone variation may seem obvious when it comes to the way students respond, this is something that is very often overlooked and deserves to be revisited.
the tone of voice teachers use absolutely matters when a teacher is interacting with students. We all know that we respond better to those who speak to us in a respectful, non-confrontational way. It only makes sense that educators would receive better responses from kids if they approach these students in a way that is non-threatening and even inviting to them. The key is for each teacher to discover just what such a voice entails with regard to their particular group of students.
Consider the Demographics
The HuffPo article points out that there are generalities that apply with regard to the ways in which younger and older students prefer to be addressed. Elementary school kids, of course, will enjoy voices that are animated and fun. The article gives an example of a teacher dressing up in a funny costume and speaking in a raspy voice for his little students. That same teacher later went on to teach high school kids and discovered the benefits of whispering as a non-intimidating means of getting through to these adolescents. As a rule, no students respond well to monotone lectures.
Be Aware of Individual Need
Finally, the article points to the need for teachers and staff to be innovative when dealing with individual situations. Kids with special needs or a background of trauma may require a gentle voice, perhaps. In the article, an example was given in which a bus driver used the power of music to “sooth the save beast” in her passengers, leading to less fighting and more singing along.
It’s plain to see that a little bit of patience and creativity can go a long way when it comes to teachers being able to “find their voice.”