Friday, February 4, 2011


I have learned indirectly that some students find that I am soft-spoken in class, so they have trouble hearing me.

A long time ago, I was a really loud teacher. Then I took a few voice lessons, became protective of my vocal chords, and dropped a good number of decibels. Not enough voice practice to learn to project my voice far while keeping it nice and relaxed, unfortunately.

I also like to believe that a relaxed voice sets the tone for a more relaxed classroom atmosphere, where people are less nervous about asking questions. Whether that's true or not, I have no idea. (Has it been studied, even?)

So, what to do about this?

I suppose that a microphone could be the answer, although I am not sure what effect it has on class dynamics. It might become more like a show and less like a group endeavour.


  1. How many students are there in your class? Are there many spots free in the first row?

    I had a class of >60 students in Waterloo, and found that it makes sense to have a microphone. One can (should) still take questions, if remembering to repeat them for the whole class to hear.

  2. 40-60 students.
    no spots free on first row.


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