Jump to content

Teaching course dilemma!


Bluebird22
 Share

Recommended Posts

 

For years I've wanted to take the final part of my BBO teaching qualification but it's just been out of my price range. I've managed to complete my IDTA qualifications as they are much cheaper. I recently inherited a bit of money so financially it's now manageable.

 

My dilemma:

I lost my voice 14months ago and it just never came back. I've tried speech therapy, had nasoscopys, chest X-Ray's, hot lemon, honey, salt water everything with no avail. Apparently it's stress related. I've carried on teaching, I've taken no time off and still entered kids for exams. To all intents and purposes I can still do my job albeit quietly and at times it is difficult (I can't shout, even phone calls are out of the question).

Is there any point me going to the interview for the course or will my voice automatically rule me out?

I've not mentioned it in any communication so far. I'm worried that even if I am accepted my result will be lower than my vocally able counterparts.

I wouldn't class myself it as a disability just something I've learnt to deal with.

 

Any help and advice, the more honest the better! And if anyone has experience in higher education...

 

Thank you in advance

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Bluebird, you say that it's stress related but that you haven't taken any time off. To me it sounds like perhaps a break is needed?! Or if you don't feel like you can take a break, have you thought about trying any ways of reducing stress/anxiety such as CBT?

 

As for applying for the course, while there are elements of voice that might be assessed (such as counting through an exercise with the right dynamics) having a very quiet voice shouldn't affect your ability to teach. Some of the best teachers I know rarely shout or project their voice.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So sorry to hear your voice is not working as you would like it to. Most reasonable employers and training providers should look at what they can do to make 'reasonable adjustments' to deal with any difficulty you may have - but they can't do this unless you tell them what you need. If you can do a job but need additional support in certain areas, legislation dictates this should be offered. appreciate you may not want to pull the 'equal opportunities' card, but sometimes making your expectations of equitable treatment clear from the start means that you will be treated in this way. I do hope you are fairly supported but be prepared to shout (no pun intended!) if you are not. Very best wishes for your ambitions

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never been convinced it is stress related, I had laryngitis when it started but it took my doctors 3months to class the laryngitis as chronic and offer antibiotics. During my speech therapy sessions the therapist told me I had aphonia. The nasoscopy came back with separated vocal chords.

 

I've had a few holidays when the studio has been closed, in fact I've got 5 days off next week.

 

From the course description it seems only one module involves actually teaching a class. In my current place of work no one bats an eyelid about my voice, because it's been so long that it's just accepted as my voice now. It's only strangers who ask

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No I was thrown off the programme because I couldn't make a session and when I rang the hospital (i didn't have a contact number for the man I was seeing) to cancel they couldn't hear me. I emailed but I got no response, my own doctors told me I could go back onto the waiting list but it's a 6month wait. All I successfully managed to do was a ssssssss sound and an ooooooo but ooooooo really hurt.

 

The speech therapy actually upset me quite a lot as it was really simple things that I just couldn't do, the more I tried and failed the more it infuriated me. I had to do things over and over again which would just make my throat sore.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did loads of humming (which I couldn't do)

Singing with a tube

Ssssssss oooooooooo zzzzz (which caused tears of sheer frustration) mmmmmmmmmmm nnnnnnnnnnn

Aaaaaa eeeeee were an absolute no go as I would be visibly straining with absolutely zero sound

Loads of neck stretches

Yawning

And a horrible grab the voice box and crack it side to side

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It felt sore like when you've coughed for a prolonged period. And I'd get a horrible wriggling sensation in my ears. After some of the sessions I would feel like I'd eaten a chicken bone and got it lodged in my throat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Karen that information is very helpful, though you are right I'd rather not pull the equal opportunities card if I can help it. In an IDTA teaching exam one of the examiners comments was that I was too quiet and needed to learn to project my voice more. This was about 8years ago when I was just recovering from laryngitis and was a little hoarse but it was barely noticeable unlike now. I've had laryngitis quite a few times apparently I have a very sensitive larynx.

 

I suppose the best thing to do is go along to the interview and get the course organisers opinion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think explaining your situation to them would be a very good start and I hope that they are empathetic. It's just good to know when you are talking with them that they do have a responsibility to work with you and support you through the situation. I would have a look at the BBO course information to see what they say about supporting learners with additional needs. You certainly won't be the first learner they have had who has requested additional support. Keep us posted with how you get on. ????

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand why you don't want to see this as a disability, but it is, albeit temporary. I work in a university, and as of a couple of years ago, most (all?) educational services had to comply with the DDA (Disabilities Discrimination Act).  It's our legal duty, but it's also humane, human, and ethical pedagogy.

 

If -- in every other way -- you are capable and competent in teaching, then the loss of voice should be presented as a temporary disability, and you can justifiably ask for 'reasonable adjustment.' In this case it might simply be the opportunity to demonstrate that even with a low voice you are a capable and effective teacher.

 

I broke my dominant arm & hand rather badly (18 months of limited use, disability & chronic pain), and found all sorts of things very difficult, especially as my job is a lot of writing! I had to use speech to text software, and in setting it up, the Disabilities counsellor at my university commented that in some ways it was harder for someone suddenly becoming disabled if they've previously been able-bodied. They have to adjust very quickly, and often change a lot about their lives very quickly. And if it's temporary (as I hope yours is - if it's stress related, then there's hope that if the stress goes, the voice eventually returns) then there's really not time to adjust.

 

It is tough. But if in all other ways you are an effective teacher & the low voice does not hamper your communication with your students, then you have a good case for consideration.

 

Good luck! And as DrDance says, can you do something about the stress? Sometimes learning the Alexander Technique can help - don't know if you've tried that?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There does seem to be support in place for learners with additional needs and from doing a previous course with them there was a lot of extra help available for people with dyslexia and long term injuries. It sounds ridiculous but I don't know what support I could ask for since I'm being examined on something I do in my own unique manner 6 days a week.

 

Kate I have to say I agree with the disabilities counsellor. Even writing this I'm struggling with the concept of needing reasonable adjustment or additional support because up until 14months ago I was perfectly able any voice loss I experienced was a short term inconvenience when I was poorly. My stubborn, independent personality just doesn't like asking for help.

 

As I said upthread I've never been convinced that it is stress related, prior to losing my voice I was blissfully happy, I'd had a lovely Christmas break, I'd come back to the job I love, I was stuck into show choreography, I'd cleared Tuesday's permanently as a day to spend with my boyfriend.

When I lost my voice at about month 6 I did become quite anxious as a result of the voice loss, kick started by my car breaking down on a busy A road, the breakdown company operator told me to speak up, that I had a silly voice etc. I started having night mares about being chased and not being able to scream for help. That continued for a short while before I cancelled my breakdown cover, bought a whistle and a torch and stopped making calls.

 

I will look into Alexander Technique, it sounds familiar perhaps I researched it before!

 

Thank you everyone, your comments have been really helpful!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do get in touch bluebird. If he can't help you he will be honest & say so.

 

Stress can affect the voice as it causes construction, the vocal folds not closing is the big issue. Aphonia is pretty much a posh way of saying no voice but it doesn't actually tell you anything specific.

 

Estill Voice Technique is what dh is trained in - several of his colleagues have presented papers/research to conferences to SLT & ent specialists.

 

As I said before - no guarantees but as we are local it's worth a try.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pictures it was on my to do this morning (I prioritised it above the mound of clothes I need to have washed, ironed and packed before tomorrow!) so I can happily tell you I have ticked that off my list! Thank you again Pictures it is much appreciated! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know two teachers who have had major voice-loss problems.  If you don't get anywhere with any of the above, I could ask them what they did (both are speaking normally again now) - send me a PM if you need any more help, because I don't always look into DD.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...