One North Carolina teacher has taken bonding with his students to the next level, coming up with a unique handshake for each student in his classroom.
Barry White Jr. teaches fifth-grade literacy at Ashley Park Elementary School, a Title I institution that encourages teachers to find creative ways to engage with their students.
“The most critical component is the relationship, the rapport you build with your students because sometimes it can go underrated or overlooked,” White says. “Before I’m able to deliver a substantial amount of content to them, they have to invest in the teacher.”
While spreading joy to his students is the primary goal, White has also heard from other educators who say his actions helped to re-ignite their passion for teaching.
The idea came to the Cleveland Cavalier’s fan when he noticed Lebron James doing handshakes with his inner-circle. White decided it would be a fun idea to bring to the classroom.
He first tried a special handshake with a student in another class.
“She would come see me before she went to class and sometimes she would get in trouble because she would wait to get the handshake,” White said. “Once I saw how simple, but how powerful it was to her, I thought it would be so cool to have for an entire class.”
It was a slam dunk. White says once the handshakes started, they became contagious.