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Lowering Your Voice

Teaching Strategies Series

When several children are speaking at once, it can be tempting for teachers to raise their voices in order to be heard. In this video, preschool teacher Yotisse Williams describes an alternative strategy he uses to improve children's listening skills and focus their attention on what he is trying to communicate.

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  • Lowering Your Voice

    (This video has captions. You can turn them on by clicking the CC icon at the bottom of the video.)
    Download a printable transcript in English and Spanish.

    Yotisse Williams, Preschool Teacher, Early Childhood Laboratory School at Housatonic Community College: I think there’s a tendency for the loudness because you feel like you’re doing something. You know, if it’s loud, I can hear it, so therefore I’m really doing something. But what I’ve learned is that lowering your voice is very effective. Even like, when you’re trying to gather them for group, you can use it at that time as a dismissing device. Because sometimes, if you say their name, they’re not listening to you anyway. But now if you’re doing it like this (silently mouths name), it’s like, “What are you saying?” And it kind of focuses the attention a little bit more.

    Yotisse: Even though that is such a fascinating idea. We’re going to have microphones to use. Xavier is really watching. (silently mouths)

    Yotisse Williams: So I think it’s an effective strategy for the simple fact, it’s underused by a lot of teachers. But I actually challenge teachers to try and use it more.

  • Producer: Terry Surprenant
    Videographer/Editor: Sean Leser
  • The Center wishes to thank The Early Childhood Laboratory School at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, Connecticut, for their cooperation in the making of this video.