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Ask Ms. Magnolia

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If you have a question for Ms. Magnolia, please mail it to P.O. Box 669, Vidalia, GA 30475, or e-mail to [email protected]

Ms. Magnolia

Dear Ms. Magnolia, My grandmother was a teacher for 35 years and my aunt still is. They both have trouble with what they call “teacher’s throat” – dry throat, periodic cry coughs, and hoarseness. I have been teaching for 2 years, sometimes in class now and sometimes on Zoom or a similar video conferencing for schools. I do . nd myself

straining my voice sometimes and having a sore throat. Is there something I can do to protect my voice over the coming years?

Marla

Dear Marla, Here are some suggestions to keep your throat in good condition. Each morning use a salt water gargle, stretch your vocal cords in the moist atmosphere of the shower by hissing and humming, drink lots of water during the day to keep the larynx moist, have a warm drink to soothe the vocal cords.

Focus on breathing, slow down your words to improve breath . ow. Use pauses

and silence to emphasize the meanings of words and sentences. During recess and lunch and evenings and weekends, take time to relax and let your voice recover after prolonged speaking. Don’t whisper for prolonged periods of time.

Try to speak face-to-face: cross the classroom to speak to a student or motion for students to come to your desk.

Get attention without your voice by clap- ping, using a bell, or . icking the lights.

Use a portable microphone, reduce background noise. Avoid dairy products before speaking and don’t overuse throat lozenges.

If you have concerns about your voice, it’s best to speak to your doctor who may refer to you an ear, nose and throat specialist.

Letters have been edited for length and clarity.

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