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”.

  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.

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