The COVID-19 pandemic shined a light on the importance of instructional audio solutions. With mask mandates and social distancing, instructional audio solutions play a critical role—projecting educators’ voices and ensuring every student can hear and understand what’s being asked of them.

Access to intelligible, clear audio has never been more important.

However, while instructional audio solutions gained traction in the pandemic, there’s so much more to instructional audio than just projecting an educator’s voice. Instructional audio benefits all students—students with learning loss, students in the back of classrooms, non-native English speakers, and others.

Here’s how I’m using instructional audio as a second-grade teacher at Dora L. Small Elementary School in South Portland, Maine.

“Come on down!” Strong relationships with students are so important; I truly believe that as a teacher, you can’t get anywhere in academics until you’ve built relationships with your students. In fact, a review of Educational Research analysis found that strong teacher-student relationships were associated in both the short- and long-term with improvements. Higher student academic engagement, grades, attendance, fewer disruptive behaviors and suspensions, and lower school dropout rates all improve with strong teacher-student relationships.

Kristin Ortiz is a second-grade teacher at Dora L. Small Elementary School in South Portland, Maine.

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