*Barry White Jr., the ‘handshake teacher’ whose classroom video went viral, is making headlines once more for sharing his “Five Keys To Engaging An Audience.”
In case you’re late to the social media partly, last week the “Handshake Teacher” video of Barry White Jr., a 5th grade literacy teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina, went viral for showing the personalized handshake he created with each student as they enter his class. The video became such a hit that White was invited to make an appearance on “The Today Show” days after the video took off on Facebook.
Forbes followed up with Barry to discuss his approach to instruction. The teacher revealed that the handshake plays an important role in preparing students to learn. In the conversation, White also shares the five keys to engaging and inspiring an audience—students or professionals…. read about it below, and peep the player above of Barry White Jr. in action with his students.
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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.”
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.
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.”
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.
“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.”