Fifth-grade teacher has an elaborate personal handshake for each and every one of his students

Barry White, Jr teaches fifth grade English at Charlotte, NC's Ashley Park School. Every day, he greets every one of his students with an amazing, personalized handshake, to "bring them excitement and pump them up for a high-energy class."

“I started with one simple handshake last year with a 4th grader,” he explained. “She would wait for me every morning before she’d go to class. She’d get in trouble sometimes for being late because she’d wait on the handshake."

“This year I started making handshakes with the kids at recess. It was just one or two students and then it became contagious,” he added. “I saw how much it meant to them, so I said, ‘Come on. Everyone come on.’ Then it was my full class, then it was kids from other classes. Now I have 3rd graders wanting to do it too.”

Teacher Has Personalized Handshakes With Every One of His Students [Eliza Murphy/Good Morning America]

(via Metafilter)

Notable Replies

  1. Now that's an awesome teacher.

  2. Teaching is about building relationships and helping students draw connections between their existing knowledge and new information/ideas.
    This teacher knows that.

  3. I read some twitter comments. Big mistake. This guy is awesome. But people suck.

  4. Franko says:

    this is the type of teacher that makes HUGE, lasting difference in a kid's life. i speak from a bit of experience as a kid that benefitted from this type of cool attention.

  5. Why though? He isn't making the kids do the handshakes--just doing them with the kids who are into it. The teacher next door to me ends every afternoon with every single child getting a choice: high-five, handshake, or hug.

    I have big loud moments with my big loud students; I have quiet, calm moments with my quiet calm students. An introverted student's special greeting could simply be a fistbump or a wave. Even my most introverted student comes up to to me in the morning and values it when I acknowledge that I'm glad he's at school. Good teachers meet students where they are: what you see in this video is a teacher meeting the needs of one set of students. Who is to say he isn't equally perceptive to the needs of a different subgroup?

Continue the discussion

12 more replies