Your voice is a powerful tool, and I think many don’t quite realize just how powerful their voice can be in managing a classroom. In everything you do, you are talking to your students and if you pay attention, you’ll notice that in different situations you talk differently. Either you raise your voice or lower it, you can have a cute voice, an angry voice and maybe a pleasant and an annoying voice. All these voices can be used to help you manage the classroom, run activities and communicate with your students.
Make sure everyone can hear you
This is maybe a little bit of a no-brainer, but even so. If you are a new teacher, it can be easy to speak a little low and maybe too fast. Making sure they can hear you also means speaking clearly and slow enough for the students to understand. But you also have to face your students when talking to them. You generally cannot write on the board and talk to your students at the same time. If you are talking to the board, you are not talking to the students, and if the classroom is big, they really cannot hear your clearly. Get in the middle of the room, raise your voice a little so that everyone is listening and paying attention to you.
Lower your voice when talking to individuals
As much as you need to raise your voice when you talk to the class as a whole, as much you need to lower your voice when you are talking to individual students or groups. Try not to disturb the other students unless it is necessary, but lowering your voice also makes a better “connection” between you and the student you are talking to. Squat down or sit on a chair next to them and come closer down to their level. They spend the whole day looking up at you, bring your face down to their height as well and they will listen more carefully to you.
Unless you are giving a very short command or desperately trying to get the students attention, shouting is generally a very bad idea. Not only will you lose your breath and your voice, but your students are likely to shout back and you will draw attention from parents, other teachers, their students and perhaps even your supervisors. There are certain situations where we just do shout, and we cannot quite control those, but shouting at your students does little else than either make them more noisy or just simply scared. And neither of those two outcomes are particularly useful. There are many ways you can get the attention of your students, and you can teach them certain signals or clues when you first have their classes. For me, personally, a loud clap usually gets their attention and if they are really noisy, I simply fold my arms and stand in the middle of the room until they see me. One student will start telling the others to calm down and then you can continue. I only ever raise my voice for a very short time, and then when they are all watching and listening I speak in a normal tone. Even if I am angry at a student, I never shout at them. They won’t understand your words and the other students will get uncomfortable.