Trying to teach without a voice is annoying and difficult.  Trying to teach music without a voice is downright agonizing.  After adjusting ALL of my lessons for minimal teacher vocalization this week AND after fighting for each word all week I decided today that I’d had enough.  Because today I actually felt almost as bad as I sounded so I got a sub for the afternoon.   The afternoon sub was a great idea, but I still had to get through my four morning classes……
What to do….  What to do……
That was when I remembered Google Translate.  Because I had already considerably downsized my vocal output this week, it wasn’t a big deal to type in the few things that I needed to say into the translator.  I have an active board and speaker system hooked up to my computer so it was easy to adjust the volume so that everyone could hear and see what I was writing.  I loved it because I can type almost as fast as I can speak, so I was able to answer questions with complete and thoughtful answers instead of limiting myself to nodding yes and no and writing on the board which takes longer.  In kindergarten, after I motioned everyone to come in an sit down, which is part of our normal routine, I typed in “Everyone please stop talking”.  They were stunned into silence!  I still had a couple of wanders who hadn’t quite joined the class, so I simply pressed “play” again…. and again….. to which a student on the first row who was listening exclaimed….. “we heard you the first time!”   I love kindergarten!  It worked well with kindergarten because they couldn’t read the words I was typing but they could hear them.  It worked well with my older students because they could read along as I typed and they got a kick out of typing mistakes that would cause funny pronouncements.  The majority of my students are bilingual they enjoyed watching the translations develop.  Needless to say, computers still can’t translate like we can. However, that was part of the fun.
I know you won’t be surprised by two things.
1. My ENT did give me some medicine, but he also reminded me that nothing takes the place of silence and water when dealing with vocal stress.
2. I will be using google translate much more as part of my arsenal of tools to decrease the amount of talking that I have to do.
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