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Teachers like singers use their voice everyday. Sometimes more, sometimes less and many of them know how does it feel when you get hoarse. I have always thought that you can't loose your voice completely. But my body proved me I was wrong. Last year I had lost my voice for 3 months. You could imagine how these months were for me as a teacher. Not even that I was not allowed to teach but I was neither allowed to speak. From this experience I have learnt a lot and now I understand when my body tries to speak to me. Surprisingly I tend to listen much more than before.

It’s not inevitable, but it’s highly probable that you could develop vocal problems if you don’t learn how to use and care for your voice. Your voice is an instrument inside your body and how you treat it and your body greatly affects your voice. 

Your voice is not an instrument you can replace when a string when it breaks. Your vocal cords are muscles and they are irreplaceable. You only have one set, so you can either care for them or let them go down the road. My vote is that you take the high road of prevention, preservation, and health for a long successful career of teaching without having problems. 

1. Warm up your voice before teaching, giving speeches or singing. Do neck and shoulder stretches, glide from low to high tones on different vowel sounds, hum, do lip trills (like the engine of a motorboat) or tongue trills.

2. Drink water to keep your body well hydrated, and avoid alcohol, smoking and caffeine. Your vocal cords vibrate very fast, and having a proper water balance helps keep them lubricated. Important note: Foods containing large amounts of water are excellent hydration-conscious snacks, including apples, pears, watermelon, peaches, melons, grapes, plums, bell peppers and applesauce.

3. Allow yourself several "vocal naps" every day, especially during periods of extended use. For instance, teachers should avoid speaking during the breaks between classes and find quiet ways to spend the lunch hour rather than talking in a noisy staff room with colleagues.

4. Don't abuse or misuse your voice. Avoid yelling or screaming, and try not to talk loudly in noisy areas. If your throat feels dry or tired, or your voice is getting hoarse, reduce your voice use. The hoarseness is a warning sign that your vocal cords are irritated and whispering could make it even worse.

5. Don't clear your throat too often. When you clear your throat, it's like slamming your vocal cords together. Doing it too much can injure them and make you hoarse. Try a sip of water or swallow to quench the urge to clear. If you feel like you have to clear your throat a lot, get checked by a doctor.

6. When you're sick, spare your voice. Don't talk when you're hoarse due to a cold or infection. Listen to what your voice is telling you.

7. Humidify your home and work areas. Remember, moist is good for the voice. I use a nebulizer once a week with Vincentka or essential oils as a prevention.

8. Sleep it up! I love sleep. I am a much nicer person and teacher when I have had a bucket load of sleep. You'll know how much sleep makes you feel well rested, now make sure you get it!

Wish you many happy teaching hours:)