Improving Classroom Understanding: Tips for Teachers - Hearing and Speech Agency

Improving Classroom Understanding: Tips for Teachers

As rates of hearing loss in children and young adults rise, many teachers face the challenge of communicating effectively in notoriously loud classrooms and school buildings. Even if hearing loss is undiagnosed, the tips below can help teachers reach students more effectively.



1. Get rid of the gum.

Yes, even teachers should not chew gum in class. Eating or chewing things while teaching can be a distraction for students as it interrupts the teacher’s natural speaking voice and motions. If a student is hard-of-hearing, chewing food can prevent them from seeing and reading lips or facial expression.

2. Face forward.

Teachers should make sure that they are facing students when making important points or giving directions. Turning your back to write on the board or grab a stack of papers can muffle speech sound and make it difficult for students to read your lips or facial expressions. Consider using student helpers to pass out materials or writing instructions on the board before you explain them.

3. Use visual aids.

Providing image-rich content can hold student attention for longer than words alone. Furthermore, providing a written copy of directions or key points can help students catch up when they lose focus.

4. Look for potential distractions in the classroom.

Objects such as fans and air conditioning units, squeaky chairs, or the sound of writing on a whiteboard can distract students. While these sounds are often unavoidable, by recognizing them teachers can adjust their lesson to include more written instructions or speak more clearly.

5. If you see something, say something. 

Sometimes students, parents, and teachers may mis-identify hearing loss as a behavior or attention issue. If you recognize signs of hearing loss in a student, speak up! Families can access free and low cost resources at community organizations like HASA.


Want to bring free hearing screenings and hearing health education to your school? Contact Lauren Albers Denhart at



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