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Teachercat2 Teachercat2 is offline
 
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Teacher voice
Old 10-31-2016, 02:51 AM
 
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Hi, I am wondering if others believe you need to have a loud "teacher voice" in order to be successful with classroom management. I've always had a quiet voice and struggle with projecting it. Even when I think I'm being loud, I'm told I'm quiet!
I've noticed being in another person's classroom this year who also speaks softly, she really struggles with getting her students to listen to her. Whereas when we have a sub with a good loud teacher voice the kid's are immediately better behaved. It's uncanny to watch.
To this end, can I still be successful? And how can I improve my own teacher voice and stop sounding like another child in the room??


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Old 10-31-2016, 05:00 PM
 
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I actually do have a loud voice but I don't think it's volume so much as presence. If you have a good, strong presence your volume won't matter so much. Do you walk around the room when you teach? Are you confident? I think those types of things are more powerful than the volume of your voice.
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teacher voice
Old 10-31-2016, 05:27 PM
 
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I am a retired first grade teacher and have a naturally loud voice. A new teacher came to my grade level who had a very soft, almost musical voice. I worked with her for five years She had the best classroom management skills of anyone I'd ever taught with. When she wanted the students' attention she used a rain stick. She was kind and gentle with the students, but incredibly consistent and fair. They wanted to do the right thing for her.

I taught in a school where 65% of our kids were on free/reduced lunch and throughout the building behavior was an extraordinary challenge. 30 years in I learned from a newbie. While I considered myself kind, consistent and fair, my classes were always loud. Who knew...they were copying me. The more I tried to use a quiet teacher voice like my new partner the quieter and more focused my students became.

Don't be afraid of your quiet teacher voice. If the kids are engaged in the lessons you teach they will quiet to hear you.
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Old 10-31-2016, 06:10 PM
 
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I don't think it matters how loud you talk as much as it matters how much you talk. Less is more.
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Loud is not necessarily a good thing.
Old 10-31-2016, 07:13 PM
 
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I also have a quiet voice. I've taught for 25 years, and I pride myself on my classroom management skills, even though I rarely raise my voice. I think that if you are always loud, they quit listening to you. I use a signal to get their attention, and then speak quietly to them. It works much better than yelling.


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Old 10-31-2016, 07:46 PM
 
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Greyhound Girl took my answer! She's right, it's presence, not volume that makes for good class management. It's knowing when to use your voice--if it's always loud, it will always be loud in your class.

And now linda2671 took my other answer! It's like you're both reading my mind! It's not just giving a signal and then using a quiet voice, it's also waiting until everyone is listening before you use the quiet voice to teach.

It's useful to cultivate a big voice that comes from the diaphragm because there are times to use that big voice...but not very often so it comes as a surprise. I use the big voice for emergencies and instant quiet.

If you think you sound like one of the children, listen for the inflections in your voice. You might find that you end sentences with what sounds like a question mark which makes people sound apologetic and kids tend to stop listening.
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I agree...
Old 11-01-2016, 01:49 PM
 
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it is all about the presence. I worked with a wonderful teacher who never, ever raised her voice, even with the big naughty 6th grade boys. She mastered the art of the stop and turn. It always got the students back in line. I have a naturally loud voice, plus I'm always competing with my noisy heating vent, or air conditioner.
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Thank you!!
Old 11-01-2016, 04:47 PM
 
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I really appreciate all of your responses!! I think for me, it really must be about my presence. I need to be more confident and I probably do speak like I am asking questions. I am certainly not going to be louder, so I am going to keep working on it.
Thanks everyone!
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Old 11-01-2016, 06:32 PM
 
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I really feel it's more about attitude and feeling like you're in control rather than how loud you are.

I am getting quieter and quieter the longer I'm teaching. This is my 22nd year.

I'm currently out on medical leave and my sub has a very loud voice naturally. She's having a terrible time controlling the class. Whereas I just get quiet and stare at them to control them, she's talking louder and louder over them. It's not working out at all.

Just like The Dog Whisperer says, it's about a calm, assertive attitude.
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Old 11-02-2016, 09:18 PM
 
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Quote:
I really feel it's more about attitude and feeling like you're in control rather than how loud you are.

I am getting quieter and quieter the longer I'm teaching. This is my 22nd year.

I'm currently out on medical leave and my sub has a very loud voice naturally. She's having a terrible time controlling the class. Whereas I just get quiet and stare at them to control them, she's talking louder and louder over them. It's not working out at all.

Just like The Dog Whisperer says, it's about a calm, assertive attitude.
Agree. Observations have shown "meaning business" is 90% body language.


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Old 11-03-2016, 02:28 AM
 
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It's definitely presence and confidence, but I do think it helps to project a bit to make sure everyone hears.
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Be The Alpha Dog
Old 11-07-2016, 05:39 PM
 
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I agree with beagles2-
I watch Cesar The Dog Whisperer and I don't own a dog!
His techniques can be applied to the classroom. Be the one in charge and let them know in a quiet calm way. It is about waiting,moving around the classroom, and the look.
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Old 11-18-2016, 05:22 PM
 
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I have wondered the same thing about myself. I am soft spoken but I am getting better at projecting. I use a chime and other attention getters and wait until they're quiet before I start talking. I think sometimes my quiet voice has an advantage and sometimes I wish I could be like my partner teacher who gets everybody to listen to her.
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I have a quiet voice
Old 11-18-2016, 06:41 PM
 
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I have found I am a bit of a natural mumbler, so I made a conscious effort to speak clearly, not louder. We are lucky to have microphones and that helps too.

If you speak clearly and confidently, it doesn't matter how loud you are. The best kindergarten teacher I ever observed has a very quiet voice. She is confident and caring, so you can do it too!
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Old 11-19-2016, 06:07 AM
 
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I think it matters less about the volume and more about the confidence your voice projects. My fellow fifth grade teachers are much louder. However, I definitely have less management issues than they have. People make the comment all the time that they have never heard me raise my voice when working with my students. I am not quiet, but I am also not loud. However, I have learned over the years how to look my students in the eye and let them know I mean business. It is also more about having routines and practicing those routines so kids know what to do in different situations.
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And for what it is worth,
Old 11-19-2016, 07:25 AM
 
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I do have a naturally loud voice... I have been teaching MS/HS SpEd Emotional and Behavior Disorders the last two years. I have found that softer and quieter works MORE effectively with them.

If they are out of control, or on the verge, and I get loud, they get LOUDER. If I stay calm and get quieter, or even silent, they model my behavior.
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Not so much a
Old 11-26-2016, 09:19 AM
 
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Teacher's voice as stage presence or presence in general. The volume/tone in your voice varies but your presence should command.
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Old 11-27-2016, 02:44 AM
 
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I don't think you have to be loud either. My "teacher voice" is half eyes!
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Old 02-25-2017, 03:18 PM
 
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For classroom management you don't have to use a loud voice you just need a system that works for you and the students. Depending on what is happening in your classroom you should change your voice. Everyone has that voice inside them that will make others listen and understand how you're feeling (if you are frustrated or disappointed). This is just something you have to keep working on.
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Be yourself
Old 09-03-2017, 05:39 PM
 
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and be confident and calm because students will mimic you. Get a good classroom management plan and be consistent. The Smart Classroom Management website by Michael Linsin is a free weekly blog that addresses issues that teachers face in the classroom.

Portray confidence, calmness and knowledge in your voice, body language and actions. Have a plan, model procedures, rules, consequences and expectations to keep your students engaged and focus in your lessons.

Students want structure, so set boundaries. I also use the strategies from a book: 1-2-3 Magic for Teachers: Classroom Discipline for Pre-K through Grade 8 to keep my management techniques consistent. (My voice is loud, so I also have to tone down my volume to model what 'whisper' and 'ninja quiet' sounds like!
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