Teacher uses personalized handshakes to connect with each of his students

Posted at 11:36 AM, Feb 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-02 11:34:59-05

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — One North Carolina teacher is doing whatever it takes to connect with his students.

Fifth-grade teacher Barry White Jr. created personalized handshakes for each of the students in his three literacy classes — and he remembers them all.

“The most critical component is the relationship, the rapport you build with your students because sometimes it can go underrated or overlooked,” White told WCNC. “Before I’m able to deliver a substantial amount of content to them, they have to invest in the teacher.”

The avid Cleveland Cavaliers’ fan got the idea from LeBron James when he noticed James doing  specialized handshakes with his friends. Thinking it looked like a great way to connect with his students, he tried it on 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,” he 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.”

Now, he performs the handshakes with his students, other teachers and even volunteers.

Last September, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools posted a video of Mr. White’s unique handshakes on their Facebook page. The video, which has been viewed 907,000 times, has more than 18,000 shares and 9,000 likes: