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Weapon of Choice

Posted on Monday, August 30, 2010 in Reflections

As I’m sure is the case for many in the profession at the moment (and countless others), I’ve progressively been coming down with the latest cold-type bug that has been going around. It’s sapped my energy levels, left me with a red-raw throat and otherwise just made life miserable.

But most significantly it took the vast majority of the volume out of my voice today. I’m naturally quite a loud person, particularly in leading the classroom: often just when I get excited about whatever it is that I’m teaching. So today I felt completely dis-empowered, my “weapon of choice” was unavailable. I couldn’t instruct for longer than about a minute, I struggled to regain the attention of the class when I’d let them go, and I struggled to maintain their attention when I had it. I don’t think I realised just how much I’ve relied on the power of my voice in the class.

Some of that is good: I think I communicate effectively most of the time, but I’m also reminded by the need to have plan B, C, D, etc. ready for when the plan doesn’t happen. All good learnings I suppose – but I’m not sure I’ll make it in tomorrow. In the meantime, the headline gives me an excuse to link to (embedding is disabled) that most fantastic of music videos: Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice”.

Bring on the comments

  1. ktenkely says:

    Funny, I have never thought of my voice that way but I use mine similarly. When I get excited about something my voice inevitably rises with my enthusiasm. Perhaps that is why I always felt extra zapped by the end of a school day when I was sick, because I didn’t feel as effective without my weapon of choice.
    Let me know what your back up plans end up being, I could probably use them!
    Hope you are on the mend soon.

    • geoff says:

      My best strategy was taking the next day off sick and recovering a bit – but I’ve had a go at using more visuals, and using a loud blast of music to get the attention of the class.

  2. Marco says:

    I love your way of thinking! Weapon of choice, very nice. Made me think about it and MAN, do I rely on mine. Must say though that about a week ago when my whole family was out sick and my body was fighting it off I almost lost my voice for a couple of days.
    What I did is, first think in the morning as we got into class, I spoke very softly (it’s all l had) and to hear the kids had to shut up and listen or miss it, surprisingly most shut down and listened. The others got detention and shut up after that (only a couple).
    Plan B was speak softly (like I had a choice) and carry a big stick.
    BTW love the new look, it’s great.