Teachers need speech therapy too!
When meeting new people, one of the first questions I get asked is “What do you do for work?” I respond by saying that I work in a school, but that I also work with babies to provide speech and feeding therapy. 99% of the time, the reply is “But how can you help babies to talk?!”
Through writing this blog, my primary goal is to open your eyes to the world of speech therapy. As a profession, we can wear many different hats, and can reach out to many different populations. Today, my focus is on my closest friends and colleagues—teachers!
A recent article in Advance Magazine focused on voice disorders in teachers. It makes sense–the teachers I know are CONSTANTLY abusing their voices, by speaking for 6-7 hours per day (usually more!), addressing a growing class-size of 25-30 students, and not taking time out of their day to re-hydrate and drink water! With parent teacher conferences next week, I know quite a few of my colleagues will return the next day with sore throats or lost voices.
Voice disorders do not have to be an occupational hazard, though. Speech therapists can help! If you are a teacher, you probably have a speech therapist working in your school, who you can reach out to for advice, voice exercises, or referrals to a specialized voice professional. There is also a free online program offered by University of Iowa, that can help you to overcome your vocal misuse.
For a more tailored and personalized program, it is always best to contact a speech language pathologist with specific training in speech language pathology.
If you are a teacher who is tired of sore throats and raspy voices, contact me for more information or to set up an evaluation. Your vocal cords (and students) will thank you!