To Get Into This Teacher's Class, You Need a Special Handshake

Each student gets a personalized one in Barry White Jr.'s classroom
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2017 12:32 PM CST

We'd like to shake Barry White Jr.'s hand—mainly to praise him for his inspirational teaching methods, but also because we want our own personalized handshake. Per KGW, the fifth-grade literacy teacher at Ashley Park Elementary School in Charlotte, NC, has long been a fan of creative teaching methods, but it was seeing a Cleveland Cavaliers game and a special LeBron James handshake that spurred what WHO calls White's "personal twist on high-fives." To wit: To build rapport with each of his students, White has created an individual handshake for each student.

"They have to invest in the teacher" before he can make headway in actually teaching them, says White, who says once he started doling out the handshakes, they became "contagious." They do require some muscle memory, he explains: A YouTube video shows just how complex some of the routines are as the kids line up for their daily greeting. "That's how he hypes our day up," a student tells KGW of White, who's also come up with handshakes for colleagues and kids in other grades. Not only is he revving up his students: He's also inspiring adults, especially other teachers. "Hopefully, everybody can start doing it in their classroom," he tells KGW. (These students were threatened with a $5K fine if they didn't shake teachers' hands.)

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