Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Voice

I never heard a teacher mention it, but after a while, you start to develop a Bene Gesserit type of voice for classroom control. It's not so much that you can compel action with it, but there is a certain way of speak that I have found that instantly grabs a students attention and causes them to stop. It's not a yell or even that much of an increase in volume, it's simply a tone. I've usually used it with students in class, when they are more susceptible to me jerking their attention back from whatever was distracting them. But this has also happened in the hallway.

The first time I realized just what was going on was when I said one of the kid's names when she was horsing around in the hall with two other people. Immediately they all stopped and faced me. This was in a lot of ways, slightly creepy, that I had commanded this much attention through a name and a tone of voice.

I think part of this ability is directly related to the fact that I am a teacher and in a position of authority over these kids. But I believe that if I used that tone in the outside world, I'd be able to grab someones' attention, although, I do believe they would probably be slightly mad a me after I gained their attention.

On a completely separate note, here is a choice bit of conversation from today after I made a mistake on an integral in class:
Her: "Do you have stage fright?"
Me: "No. I'm up here acting every day and being heckled. I don't have any stage fright. It's simply chalkboard myopia."

N.B. Chalkboard myopia is the condition that explains why it is so easy to make mistakes on the board that you would never make if you were doing the problem by hand on a piece of paper.

1 comment:

Kris said...

I totally get chalkboard myopia when tutoring, especially when trying to convert R-commands into pictures that they'll understand. "No...this is the size and *this* is the power...no...wait"

Also, I miss you.