1. Angela says...

    Thank You to ALL Public School Teachers …. For My Teachers of public school …… Never mind this Man is in one of the toughest job’s there is…..
    He remembers Each child’s specific hand clap introduction to class …….
    This they will never forget and will pass on thru there lives to treat others with some form of dignity….. Go Teacher.. Thank You

  2. Thanks for the smile. Love how this teacher made everychild feel special in his class. Kids are motivated to work hard when they know a teacher cares!

  3. this is great relationship activity

  4. This made me smile – love it so much! Showing my fourth grader as soon as he’s off the bus :)

  5. Sarah says...

    I am a teacher and I hadn’t taken the time this week to check this video out until today. I just finished two hours of 5th grade chorus (70 kids at a time!) and I was feeling super wiped and ineffective…this video just pumped me up. Thanks for the refresher, Jo!

    Sarah

  6. Erin says...

    This guy is going to find “married” googled next to his name a zillion times in the coming week. What a man!

  7. Amy says...

    We need more teachers like that…

  8. Lulu BURLIN says...

    Thanks so much for sharing this. My 3 children have gone back to school this week (in Perth, Australia) so this is pertinent. What a connection this teacher has with these kids. It’s so heartwarming to watch. We need more good news right now.

  9. Sadie says...

    I love this. Watching all their faces before & after their turn comes makes you realize what a great focusing activity this is. When you think back to elementary school, how many times did you go in distracted, daydreaming, distressed about something or other, or otherwise not focused on learning? This is a great, kinetic little ritual to get students in “school mode” as well as brighten their day.

  10. Love it! I wonder if the kids always line up in the same order…or if they switch around sometimes to really make his brain work!

  11. Rebecca says...

    Ahhh, I love this blog. I hope you keep doing what you do Jo. Thanks for the smile!

  12. jean says...

    I love this!!!!

  13. zoe persina says...

    you know its been a long week (month) when a handshake youtube makes you cry. Thanks for sharing. XOXO

    • Leanne says...

      It made me cry too!!!

  14. Lee says...

    I’m a proud public school teacher and seeing people share and celebrate teacher excellence in the name of student engagement is awesome! Thank you for spreading the good stuff. This man is giving it his all and there is really no other way to do this job right.

    • Truly :)

  15. Joanna says...

    Pandering. Lowering the bar. What happened to educational standards? Nothing worse than authority figures abandoning their rightful role to appease those who truly need guidance and education.

    • Kate says...

      What do you know about this man’s teaching?

    • June2 says...

      People (kids) need to learn that learning can be fun and they have the power to make that happen. There is nothing wrong with kids having fun at school in a respectful and inclusive way! Please, expand your perspective to be more inclusive of cultural differences. This IS a melting pot.

    • Sarah says...

      How do you know his educational standards are low? What are the educational standards of a handshake? I have worked as a public school teacher for years and I can’t say I’ve ever seen handshake or welcome-to-my-class behavior listed in a curriculum guide or Program of Studies. Maybe you should stick to what you know and allow this teacher to grow and blossom along with his kids. He looks like he’s doing an incredible job without your input.

    • JCR says...

      This seems like a short-sighted, angry and frankly condescending reaction that I cannot help but be surprised by. Reflect for a moment: Do you not ever feel more confident, engaged or eager to learn when you like or admire your teacher or instructor? This doesn’t have to be contained to a elementary school room—it can be any skill you’ve mastered or attempted in your lifetime. Personally, when I connect with a teacher, I find myself more inspired to apply myself and more confident in my abilities. Respecting their authority can still go hand in hand. As a personal anecdote, my mother takes her therapy certified Great Dane to low performing schools several times a week to sit one-on-one with children who read below their grade level. 20 short minutes of one-on-one reading, with the fun and novelty of reading to a large dog, makes it something they look forward to and rather than feeling singled out by, and these children’s reading comprehension levels and testing scores have raised 20-30%. I would argue it’s not just the instruction that gets these results, but the feeling of being seen and considered individually. It’s worth considering that not everyone responds to rote memorization and cowering under an authority figure; finding ways to engage these children in more personal ways is not lowering our system’s educational standards, but surpassing them.

    • Leanne says...

      Wait, what? This man is very clearly a role model to these kids and has taken the time to show them they MATTER. That’s an incredible bar to set and a great foundation for whatever educational material comes at those kids next. Cheers to this teacher and may more follow his lead!

    • Emma says...

      Abandoning his role? He is embracing his role as a motivator and positive role model, by making his students feel included, welcome and happy. With this positive mindset in a classroom, his students will be so much more switched on to learning. We’ve just started our school year in Australia, and all my colleagues are talking about this wonderful man, inspiring us to make each of our kids feel as included. Thank you for highlighting positives in education!

  16. Olga says...

    Thank you. I needed this! It’s been a tough couple of weeks…

    • mindi says...

      Right, Olga? This video actually made me tear up! I’m tired, worn out, and feeling like the world is a bum place…and then this guy, this guy! Going into my teaching job tomorrow feeling a little more inspired. :)

  17. Katie says...

    Made my day! What an inspiring teacher! Thanks for sharing :)

  18. YES to teachers like this!! Awesome!!

  19. I actually went to college with him! So amazing the he’s getting recognition, he was very passionate about becoming a teacher in school!

    India | youtube.com/booksandbighair

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is so awesome, india!!

  20. Audrey says...

    I was in a 4th/5th grade multi-age class as a kid and my teacher for those two years did this with us when we came into the classroom first thing every morning! It really didn’t take up a whole lot of extra time because we were getting settled at our desks and putting our backpacks in cubbies then anyways. I had to get glasses a couple of months into 4th grade so my “handshake” with her was to squint at each other in a “do I know you from somewhere?” sort of way. My brother was in her class several years before me and my whole family refers to her as “Saint Kathy.” She was the best teacher!

  21. This guy should be making multiple six-figures a year. As a mom with school-aged kids, this made me tear up a little. Teachers have so much influence; they deserve as much respect and applause as we can give them!

    • Em says...

      Agree. You know, the book The Celestine Prophecy describes how we can all define a new economy by paying people money for contributing to our lives in some way, particularly on a mundane, day to day level. If someone makes a difference to you in some meaningful way, you volunteer payment in appreciation. Similar to the donate button people have on their sites, (or the Amanda Palmer and Don Pallota TED talks are inspiring on that topic).

      If someone opened a Patreon fund for this guy (cause he’d probably not do it on his own…) and others like him, he COULD be paid that much by all those who support this kind of commitment from our teachers. Why should their income be limited?

  22. This is the cutest thing ever! Yes for small sunny life moments that restore our faith in humanity! Here for it!

  23. kathy says...

    best thing i’ve seen all week! how creative and fun

  24. Tiffany says...

    Made me smile – keep it coming!

  25. margaux says...

    i saw this yesterday and immediately suggested our boss start doing this at work every morning.

  26. Maryann says...

    Thank you for sharing! What an awesome teacher. And AMAZING memory!!!
    Now I want a personalized handshake…I’m totally making one up with my kids when I get home.

    • Michelle A. says...

      I love this idea of doing it with our children as parents!

  27. Theresa says...

    This is great. I’ve seen this first hand since my husband, who is a 7th grade teacher, does this with his students!

    • kathy says...

      so cute!

    • Claire says...

      Your husband sounds like such a great teacher! I love the idea of prioritizing personal relationships with students.

  28. This is adorable.

  29. Maywyn says...

    Wow Beautiful!

  30. This is so sweet. I love to see teachers who make it a priority to build personal relationships with their students. I have a teacher friend who, while on a brief vacation during the school year, sent each of her students a postcard with a personal note. I wish that all teachers were like my friend and Mr. White!

    Briana
    http://www.youngsophisticate.com

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is the sweetest!!! toby’s teachers made him a power rangers tally for when he stays focused during lessons. they actually printed out a photo of power rangers and laminated it. i was so touched by their effort — and also how they were so thoughtful about what would resonate with him!

      there are so many great teachers in the world.

  31. Katie H. says...

    So sweet! I bet they look forward to going to school each morning. :)

  32. I love this! Thank you for sharing. Amazing teacher learning all those hand shakes.

  33. Christy says...

    Saw this last night, it makes my heart sing! These kids feel seen, loved and adored! We need more of this. Thanks for sharing it on your blog and reaching so many people. You are inspiring us all, Joanna.

  34. Rosie says...

    this made my heart swell!

  35. What a wonderful teacher- I teared up watching this <3

  36. I love this! I watched it a few times yesterday. It definitely helps right now to see people who are amazing at their jobs doing great things.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      agreed!

  37. Gillian says...

    This is amazing. What an awesome teacher who took the time to do this with his class. Thanks for being an outstanding example!!

  38. This is a lesson to us all; connecting as human beings is the ANSWER to many of the world’s problems (as Mr. White and former POTUS, Barak Obama, so eloquently demonstrate). Because even when connecting bleeds into “other” time, at the end of the day, all anyone wants is to be acknowledged.
    http://brooklynchateau.blogspot.com/

  39. Love this! So many wonderful teachers, it’s fun and well-deserved to celebrate them :)

  40. Mary says...

    So sweet– made me cry. Those kids will remember him for the rest of their lives!

  41. unbelievably great and worth the extra time. i especially love the last kid. this is what it is ALL about for kids–having a unique connection!

  42. Christina R says...

    This is amazing, I love love love it!! Thank you for sharing!

  43. Claire says...

    Wow. I’m studying to be a teacher and this is such a wonderful idea!

  44. sorry to be the bummer teacher here…but this would eat up SO MUCH teaching and learning time. adorable, yes. but hopefully this is their homeroom time or something like it. ;) time constraints aside, that teacher is killing it on connection with his students.

    • Claire says...

      I think they’re probably doing this the minute or two people school starts? Also a teacher, I feel like the connection between teacher-student would make this totally worthwhile!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i thought that at first, too, but then i read that they learned them at recess! the teacher skipped his break time to choreograph the handshakes with the kids. so cute.

    • Teacher-student connection is SO important to success in school and this reinforces it every single day. Just read a study on just how important it is and can have a much stronger impact on success in school than anything they learn. The impact of connection in kindergarten is staggering.

      Here’s the study in case anyone wants to read it.
      The Prosocial Classroom: Teacher Social and Emotional Competence in Relation to Student and Classroom Outcomes
      Patricia A. Jennings, The Garrison Institute, Pennsylvania State University
      Mark T. Greenberg, Pennsylvania State University

    • Jess says...

      I feel like the minute it takes to do this is the worth the connection these kids are having. Forget the practicalities of school. Sometimes you need to meet the emotional need. School is not just about book learning.

    • Claire says...

      I think this would be such a great relationship building activity the first week of school when everyone’s trying to get to know each other and the teacher wants to establish something personal with each kid.

    • Katie says...

      8th grade teacher here – there’s a lot of research that shows if students feel conntected to their teacher they’re better able to learn & retain information. Time invested in building connections & community (especially at the beginning of the year) is time well spent. It’s analogous to working for a boss you admire & respect versus one in name only.

    • mamaobscura says...

      “…but this would eat up SO MUCH teaching and learning time”

      awesome handshakes to uplift spirits, forge connections, inspire learning, etc.? in my book, that is SO very much counted as teaching and learning time. ;-)

  45. Missy says...

    We could all use something to smile about these days. I mean, it hasn’t even been two weeks…..

  46. Shannon says...

    The student who does a simple salute … awwww

    • Jen says...

      That was my favourite. Love the respect of student’s individuality.

    • Katie says...

      Mine, too!

  47. Carrie says...

    This is great on so many levels. What an awesome way to connect with the kids and no doubt get them to connect with each other too. A wonderful start to any day. I love this!

  48. I literally had just added this to my “links” list :) Teachers like this keep the world spinning <3

  49. YES! I saw this today on Facebook, and it had me grinning like a kid!

  50. Laura says...

    This is absolutely amazing. I love the fake hurt after bumping shoulders. I’m going to steal that move.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha me too!

  51. Trisha says...

    how in the world does he remember them all?!?! love it! so adorable!

    • It’s so impressive!

  52. Emily R says...

    I needed this. It’s been a tough 13 days, and this is wonderful.

  53. Love this so much! Just what I needed to see today :)

  54. shade says...

    I think this is a really cute idea but… I was sooooo shy in school, I know I would have dreaded this part of the day!

    • Cynthia says...

      You know, I think he gives the shy kids space, too. The one who just does a salute? Probably shy, but still, he gets his moment and his acknowledgement, and gets to be part of the group. (My son would probably be that kid, too. :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      good point!

  55. Made me smile and tear up! What an incredible teacher.

  56. Sarah Kang says...

    this made my day. what a great teacher!

  57. Kel says...

    What a great way to connect with the students at the start of each day. Inspiring!