Aktualisiert: 12. März 2020
Speaking during class - What should be considered
As a teacher you are constantly speaking during class. Often, you speak in very uncomfortable, awkward positions or during moves which "normal" people wouldn't use for speaking, such as complete curves in your torso, rolling-up or down of the vertebral, overextended throat or neck positions in balances or arches, etc. Therefore, I would like to give you some tips on how you can reduce or avoid such unhealthy situations.
What happens in your larynx while speaking and breathing?
Let's have a simplified look at what happens in your throat/larynx while speaking.
During breathing, the vocal cords open for giving space for the air to flow into your lungs. As soon as you start to speak, the vocal cords close according to the desired tone and air flows out of your lungs via the trachea through the gap of the vocal cords related to the respective tone. For an uncomplicated breathing and speaking a relaxed jaw neck is needed. So far, so good.
The dilemma of the teacher's use of voice
As you can see in figure 3, the area of the jaw and the larynx are connected and, therefore, affect each other.
When the head is held upright, the jaw is in a relaxed more or less horizontal plane referring to the floor.
Once you start rolling down, the jaw approaches the throat and narrows the larynx. As the vocal cords are on top of the windpipe, this makes speaking difficult because the windpipe is constricted and the vocal cords are no longer properly supplied with the appropriate air to form the sound. This also makes breathing more difficult.
Let's now think of typical moves during class. Often the class starts with the first roll-down. This movement is often accompanied by words such as "Roll down slowly, vertebral per vertebral." while doing so. That is, we are speaking while narrowing the larynx, closing the windpipe and squeezing the vocal cords. Indeed, this can't be healthy!
My tips to avoid such situations
Make your announcements before the movement is to happen.
When you want to explain a movement choose one of these options: • show the movement without speaking but breathing loudly. • let someone execute the movement while you are explaining it. • search for positions within the execution that allow an open larynx for speech.
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