Entering my first day in the classroom I remember giving student instructions. At first it appeared students were not listening, and then I realized my voice was not having the impact I intended because I was using my regular voice, not my teacher voice. After this sudden realization I quickly increased the decibel level of my voice and the whole room listened. While a short anecdote, it provides a lesson I’ve come to learn in my ACTE fellowship program. As a teacher leader, it is imperative I not use my regular voice, but my teacher voice. But for new teacher leaders, how do you use your teacher voice? As I’ve reflected on this question, here are five tips on using your voice:
- Volume – As the decibel level was not reaching my intended audience, my students, without increasing our volume in where we share we are not reaching our intended audiences either. As an educator, think about, how will this message reach who I want it to reach? Will I use email, social media, blog posts, or other methods?
- Observe – In using your teacher voice, you do not have to go it alone. Teaching is a team sport. As an educator observing how other previous educators have made an impact, think about how you can follow their path or learn from them to forge your own? In observing, know that utilizing your voice takes practice.
- Invest – Take time to write and review. As you would prepare to teach a lesson in your classroom, prepare to share a message which is both honest and provides insight in a positive way.
- Connect – Find ways to connect with others both inside and outside the educator community. Growing your network provides a great space to share your voice.
- Experience – Share your personal experience. A story in combination with data or facts will have a greater impact. It is your teacher voice, tell your story!
For wherever you use your teacher voice, remember your voice matters in telling the story of educators to help promote positive change.
Region V New Professional Fellow