The Newsletter
 December 1st, 2007                                                                  Find your natural dynamic speaking voice and maintain it!
Vocal Tip of the Month!
The common cold season has already taken its course.  Getting infected by this virus is no fun and unfortunately almost inevitable for us teachers considering its omnipresence in our schools.  Here are my top 5 tips to prevent it or get over it as quickly and smoothly as possible:

1)  Take calcium and vitamin C supplements everyday to keep an alkaline Ph  level in your body and make it less vulnerable to viruses.
2)  Wash your hands often, keep them away from your face and avoid touching door knobs with bare hands to open doors.  Be considerate of others; cough in your sleeve rather than in your hands to avoid spreading the virus later.  
3)  Use organic menthol, eucalyptus and camphor based products to treat a sore throat and congested nose.
4)  Drink lots of water to keep your vocal cords hydrated.  Add a little bit of raw honey to your cup of water to gently coat your dried and sore throat.  Better yet, add some lemon and breathe its steam to relieve a stuffy nose.  
5)  Stay home and rest for your own sake and everybody else's!  
Interesting Facts
It is estimated that over 1 billion people suffer from the common cold each year in the United States.  In 1994, a survey revealed that about 62 million persons contracted the virus is the U.S.A. That is 62,000,000 per year, 5,166,666 per month, 1,192,307 per week, 169,863 per day, 7,077 per hour, 117 per minute, 1 per second.*  That same survey showed that colds caused 20 million lost school days and 24 million bed days in the U.S.A.  In 1996, colds were blamed for 45 million restricted activity days.  I wish I could have found more recent statistics about how quickly this nasty virus spreads and affects us. However, with the population constantly increasing one can only assume that this is not improving...  Click here to find out more!
*Wrong Diagnosis.  Statistics About Common Cold,
What's Happening?
Congratulations to my colleagues and all teachers for completing your report cards and surviving the first term!  I hope you witnessed many rewarding academic and personal successes in your classrooms and had constructive parent interviews.  Now that your routine is established and that you know a little more about your students, remember to be kind to yourself and always remain your number one priority.  Make time for your family and treat yourself to whatever makes you happy from time to time.  

On a different note, voice issues often start arising around this time of the year.  Please feel free to post any questions you may have about the voice on my new Message Board  and I will try to answer to the best of my abilities.
Relevant Links

Voice Yourself in the Classroom

Valerie Bastien

The Voice Connection
Inspiring Quotes and Stories...
I was watching the movie Evan Almighty the other night and I would like to share with you my favourite quote from that movie.  It goes something like this (forgive me if it's not 100% accurate; I didn't write it down when I heard it and I am now just remembering it from the top of my head): "If you pray God for patience, do you think God if gonna give you patience?  No.  God is gonna give you opportunities to be patient!"  When teaching children or discussing with parents, I feel like children often expect themselves or parents sometimes expect them to be perfect on the first try.  And so, as a teacher I see a parallel to this quote in that success or perfection cannot be gained instantly.  It is rather opportunities leading to perfection that define who our students are and how successful they will become.  Plus, nobody said it would be easy!  Embrace difficulties and weaknesses as opportunity to learn and better yourself rather than fear the ego within.   I think it's wonderful to be able to provide learning opportunities to young souls and hopefully make a difference in their life.  Isn't teaching the best job ever?!  
Things to Note
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Have a wonderful month!

-Valerie Bastien