Barry White, Jr. is an elementary teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina. He greets each of his 40 5th grade students with a personalized handshake that is all their own. This is a teacher who believes in the importance of building relationships with students. He believes in connection. “Before I’m able to deliver a substantial amount of content to them they have to buy into me,” White Jr. said.

Joe’s Perspective #1: You know the old adage – a kid doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. This teacher demonstrates this everyday. He lets each child know that he “sees them” and “appreciates them.” No child goes unnoticed. And look how they respond – with smiles, with excitement. My guess is these students try a little harder…give a little extra… and buy into the importance of their education a little more than the average 5th grader.

Joe’s Perspective #2: Why has this video been viewed over 5 million times? Why is Barry White Jr. appearing on the Today Show, the Nightly News and everywhere you look? Developing a personal handshake is such a simple thing to do. Is it such a rare thing for a teacher to care about students? Don’t some or most students feel a connection with their teachers?

Your Turn:

Do you think it’s important for teachers to establish connections and relationships with their students? Have you ever had that type of connection with a teacher?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Yes it is important to have a good connection with your teachers because when you can see that they care about you, you will care about your education more.

  2. What White is doing is very considerate towards his students. He believes that information can be better transferred when there is bond between the two. I think schools should focus more on the bonding aspect of students and teachers.

  3. This is an awesome story. It is great to see teachers reach out to their students for connections instead of the other way around. Students like to know their teachers care about them and that the teachers wants to be their to teach them. It helps the students to learn better.

  4. Watching this makes me smile because I can relate with all the handshakes I have. When I do handshakes I feel like I have a special relationship with that person and I feel Mr. White white feels the same. I also like that he sets up a good environment for fun and engaging learning!!

  5. It is so great to see teachers so involved and dedicated to the students. Teachers have a huge impact on student and can help shape their future

  6. I do think that it is important for teachers to establish connections and relationships with their students. I have by one of my 4th grade teachers asking how was my day and caring for me anytime.