Protecting your teacher voice

How to protect and care for your voice to keep it functioning well in the classroom and beyond.

Tuesday, 28 November 2023 at 10:00 pm
Protecting your teacher voice

As a teacher, your voice is your primary tool of the trade – and in our updated Voice Care for Teachers policy, we share tips to help you protect it.

We have advice and resources to help you be aware of and manage the many daily demands on your voice so you can maintain good vocal health.

Let’s talk about voice hazards

Common hazards that can cause voice fatigue include: 

  • talking at length without breaks
  • projecting your voice in classrooms or while outdoors on yard duty
  • speaking over background noise (such as students or maintenance work)
  • returning to work after an illness that affects the throat or sinus.

There is a particular risk for teachers at the start of their careers, or if they are returning from a break such as school holidays.

Common symptoms of voice fatigue or injury can include discomfort in the throat, hoarseness or change of pitch in your voice, or a loss of your voice.  

If you experience these symptoms (and indeed, if you want to avoid them), we suggest following the tips below.

Tips to protect your voice

To maintain vocal health, be attentive to signs of throat fatigue, dryness, soreness or strain, and use the Voice Care for Teachers Policy and associated guidelines to help you manage them.

To help avoid voice problems: 

  • position yourself in the classroom where it's easier for students to hear you
  • avoid yelling and talking loudly for student behaviour-management purposes
  • turn down or limit background noise such as radios, televisions, speakers or other machinery
  • use non-verbal cues to gain students' attention such as clapping, using a bell or a whistle
  • limit caffeine and drink water regularly as staying hydrated supports your vocal cords.

If you find yourself experiencing persistent voice issues, consult a GP or speech pathologist.

The Voice Care poster has quick tips to keep your school voice healthy.

Refer to the Voice Care Guidelines for information, exercises, self-assessment tools and further steps you can take to maximise your vocal health.

Find out more 

For more information, refer to Voice Care for Teachers.

For any other Victorian Government school OHS enquiries, contact the OHS Advisory Service: