Viral ‘Handshake Teacher’ Reveals His ‘Five Keys To Engaging An Audience’

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By, Jen Nicole

Follow Jen Nicole on FB & IG @bloggerjennicole

Barry White Jr. who you may know as the viral ‘handshake teacher’ is a 5th grade literacy teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina who has a personalized handshake with each of his students. Well folks, his viral video of his handshakes with each student brought him to The Today Show to talk about his relationship with his students, and of course his special handshakes with them.

See the video clip below. 

ThenForbes followed up with Barry to discuss his approach to instruction where he then shared his Five Keys To Engaging An Audience.

1.) Dress the part of a leader.

“I own more suits than casual clothes,” he told Forbes. “I want to be a role model for every student, and that begins with the way I dress.”

2.) Choose a calling, not a job.

“Teaching is my calling,” White said. “It’s the number one job in America. I can’t wait to wake up and impact students—and their parents—in a positive manner.” On the day after his Today Show appearance, White arrived at school at 5:45 a.m., two hours before the start of class. “I couldn’t wait to get back to my students,” he said.

3.) Create multisensory experiences.

Forbes notes that “White’s personalized handshake engages the whole brain and puts his kids in a peak mental state to learn. The handshake represents movement, and movement creates energy and happiness.”

4.) Don’t give the brain a chance to get bored.

White uses techniques he calls “attention-getters,” where he incorporates catchy song lyrics from popular music in his classroom discussion. “It keeps them engaged. It’s relevant to their lives. They like it. The engagement count is 100 percent,” White says of his students.

5.) Build trust.

“Never underestimate the value of relationships,” says White. “We are told as educators that we have to make our content relevant to the students and their lives. But before I can make my content relevant, I have to ask, Am I relevant to them? Once they’re invested in me, they’ll be invested in the content.”


If you never saw the viral video, check it out below!


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