Volume Confused Teachers

March 22, 2011
Communication is essential to everyone’s life. The voice of a person is one of their most valuable tools. This immensely valuable tool is often abused by the most trusted of people, our teachers! Everyday, as students, we shocked by the loudness and also lost by the softness of our teacher’s voices. Many of our teachers’ volume confused voices create unrest, confusion, and an overall poor learning environment. These boomer and mumblers constrict learning most notably in the front and back rows. Our teachers would improve the learning environment if they were more aware of the volume of their voices.

The first of two types of volume confused voices are the “boomers.” These are the teachers that not only project their voices across the room but also deafen those of us in the first and second rows. The experience of a boomer is quite scary especially for a student in the front row. When the teacher approaches my side of the room I personally tense up expecting the “KAPOW” of sound that make my eardrums ring and my body recoil. This approach works for physical education classes, but not always the best for an English class. For most classes a teacher needs to be able to project their voice to reach the back rows. This is necessary for all students to learn to the best of their ability. Boomers, though, take it too far. Their projection just becomes yelling which can hinder the learning environment for the majority of students ,if not all, find that yelling impedes learning. For teachers to be as effective as possible they must utilize their voice without over doing it or diminishing it.

The volume of a teachers voice can move to the other extreme as well. Teachers who mumble or speak too quietly are just as detrimental to the learning environment as boomers, possibly even more harmful. The shy teacher or unsure substitute teacher can often demonstrate these characteristics. If there is a substitute teacher I stress out knowing I will have to be absolutely quiet, strain my ears or in vain crane my neck to hear better. Teachers who speak very quietly (or “mumblers”) cause students to learn less. Students cannot hear as clearly and then do not learn as well. Students who cannot hear or understand what the teacher is saying often stop trying to learn. We become easily confused by mumblers and can no longer perform to expected standards. Mumblers adversely impact the growth and development of students.

Boomers and mumblers can be a big problem in any class. Students and teachers must work together to recognize and address the volume of our voices. Students can play a large role in bringing about a change. It is our duty to speak up. Tell the teacher or substitute teacher that their voice is too loud or too quiet. We have the most power to change this unfortunate situation and we must exercise this power. Although students have a responsibility, teachers have greater motivation. Teachers want their ideas and directions to be heard in a way that gets results. For this to happen they need to become more aware of the volume of their voices. If that method does not get satisfactory results, as a teacher you could ask the students for feedback on voice projection. Students and teachers must work together to correct this to ensure every classroom is engaged in active learning. For learning can only be fostered in the proper and best environments.





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