It's In Your Voice

It's In Your Voice

We have all been involved in situations where someone said, "It wasn't so much what you said, as how you said it!" The tone of voice we use plays a big part in our communications. So let's think about all of the times we can use our voice in the classroom.

We have already discussed greeting students. We may also use our voice to give directions, get students' attention, remind students of a task, thank students, congratulate students or respond to inappropriate behavior.

Click on each phrase on your screen to hear samples of effective tones of voice according to each situation.

Greeting Students: Speak calmly, yet be enthused: "Hi Sarah! I'm glad to see you this morning" or "Welcome back, Kurt!"

Giving Directions: Speak pleasantly, caringly and directly: "Please hand in all documents organized in your binder for a notebook check." "Jimmy, please switch seats."

Getting Students' Attention: Speak quietly and pleasantly: "We'll continue class when everyone is ready." "Be in your seats by the time the music stops." "If you cannot hear the music, please quiet your voice."

Reminding Students of a Task: Speak respectfully, pleasantly but firmly: "You may choose to get back to work on your lab, or you may take a Zero on today's lab. Which do you choose?" "Please head back to your work station and move to step 4."

Thanking Students: Speak enthusiastically and genuinely: "Wow Erin, you really make my job fun with your outstanding efforts!" "Cody, thanks for working so hard to say on task today."

Congratulating Students: Speak genuinely and enthusiastically: "Seth, I heard you had a great time in yesterday’s track meet! Congratulations!" "Sawyer, look at this grade! Your studying really paid off!"

Responding to Inappropriate Behavior: Speak respectfully, directly and firmly: "Tucker, your choices today are not positively contributing to our classroom. Please correct the problem." "Abby, please sit at table four until you are ready to work in your group again."

All of these phrases—if stated in negative, annoyed or angry tones—can cause your students to reflect the same things back to you: negativity, annoyance and anger. So, remember that your tone of voice says more than your words. Manage it well.

The third key category of establishing rapport is about how you carry yourself. Please advance to the next page.

Last modified: Monday, 2 July 2012, 10:56 AM