Elementary School Teacher Shares a Unique Secret Handshake With Each of His Students
The fifth grade teacher said the greetings are meant to get the students excited and energized for a new day.
Greeting his students in the morning takes a little longer for this North Carolina teacher — all because he has a personalized handshake with each of his students.
Barry White, Jr., known as Mr. White, is known around Ashley Park Elementary School in Charlotte for his secret handshakes.
"It's interesting to see how pumped up they are coming to my class," White, who has been teaching at the school for two years, told InsideEdition.com. "They know even if you're sleepy, maybe you're in a bad mood or you got in trouble last class, we're going to turn it up to a different level, and bring in a different energy."
The fifth grade literacy teacher said in addition to getting the students excited and energized for a new day, the greetings are meant to show each student their importance in the classroom.
"I'm giving them that sense of a personal, one-to-one moment," he explained. "They know I'm taking the time to make our day personal. They know I'm doing it because I care about them. Now, they're invested in the teacher."
Of White's 60 students he teaches daily, he said he has unique handshakes with at least 40 of them. More shy students tend to enjoy watching the greetings rather than participating.
"At this point, it's really muscle memory," he laughed. "When one of my students puts their hand up, I'm like, 'Oh, I know what comes after that.'"
White said it all started when he began teaching at the school, and wanted to find different ways to make the students interested in learning.
"I know at a Title I school (a school where the majority of students are from low-income families), a lot of students have a negative stigma on education."
And, thanks to his personalized greetings, White said his classroom has been transformed into a happy, positive environment.
"Everybody's engaged," he said. "Eyes wide, ready for what I'm going to do next."
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