Best 1-Minute Teacher Video Ever?

Every Single Kid Gets a Personalized Handshake

Here’s a heartwarming story about a North Carolina teacher, Barry White — but basically it’s just an excuse to show this fantastic video. All I have to add is this: I once heard that NO programs work when it comes to changing kids. This revolted me! Then the person (whoever, wherever it was) added: What DOES change kids — what changes all of us — is almost always a RELATIONSHIP, not a program.

Of course, programs create new relationships. But there’s truth to the idea that connecting is what we need and want, and ultimately, what changes us. Now, on to the video!

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Teacher Barry White, shaking things up.

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14 Responses to Best 1-Minute Teacher Video Ever?

  1. Bob Magee February 3, 2017 at 12:26 pm #

    Sort of like my grammar school, except nuns had a prayer for each of us:
    “Dear Lord, please let this child use the good sense you gave him”

    “Dear Lord, please help Johnny see the sins of his ways”

    “Dear Lord, please help Mary overcome the handicap of her family”

    Quite heartwarming,

  2. Havva February 3, 2017 at 12:53 pm #

    “What DOES change kids — what changes all of us — is almost always a RELATIONSHIP, not a program.”

    That reminds me a lot of my mom’s comment about what had gone wrong in the public schools I attended growing up. “There is nothing anyone can do to MAKE a child learn, if the child doesn’t WANT to learn.”

    Those schools had some serious problems. One was a rabid anti-intellectual bent among the students. The other was a hateful middle school administration, and town, that viewed students of 11 and older as nothing but budding criminals that needed brutally controlled. I dare say the anti-intellectualism sprung largely from a sense that as a kid one had to ‘fight the man’. From a student perspective, it was seen as practically treasonous to cooperate with the middle school administration. And doing well academically, was seen as a close neighbor of cooperating with the evil overlords; because it tended to lead to being embarrassingly recognized by those in power. Once that attitude established in middle school it was hard to shed. My class wound up being the first academically competitive class in decades. I think to a decent degree that was due to a very bright preacher’s kid who came from outside of our district and was way ahead. He made it possible to re frame academic achievement outside of the approval/disapproval of the administration that treated us like dirt, and instead treat it as a competitive squabble among ourselves. That was much more socially acceptable than “sucking up to teacher.”

    Anyhow, there was a lot that would have been made better by the administration making an effort to have a relationship with the students, and not just turning our teachers into prison wardens.

  3. fred schueler February 3, 2017 at 1:00 pm #

    We all stood up when the teacher entered the classroom

  4. Sue Luttner February 3, 2017 at 2:38 pm #

    Thank you for sharing. This brought tears to my eyes. What a great way to literally reach out to every student.

  5. Momof8 February 3, 2017 at 2:41 pm #

    How does he remember each and which goes with which student?!

  6. En Passant February 3, 2017 at 3:02 pm #

    Lenore wrote:

    But there’s truth to the idea that connecting is what we need and want, and ultimately, what changes us.

    Very true I think.

    And the linked news story also tells the daily followup to the personal greetings (my emphasis):

    “They know when they get to the front door we do our ‘good mornings,’ and then it’s time to go,” White told ABC News of his enthusiastic greetings. “I’m always pumped up and then we start doing the moves and that brings them excitement and pumps them up for a high-energy class.”

    A “high-energy class” means that students participate, not sit in sullen silence waiting for recess.

    JMHO (I am not a schoolteacher) based upon recollections of my own school days, the classes where most students learned were the classes where students were expected to recite when called upon by the teacher.

    The best classes that I recall had a simple rule: You will respond when teacher calls upon you. You don’t have to give the “right” answer, just an answer. “I don’t know” is an acceptable answer, and so is the “wrong” answer. But in that case you will be asked further questions to discover what you do know, and to be taught how to discover the “right” answer.

    Classroom recitation is just an extension of the personal greeting at the classroom door.

    That is approximately the “stand and deliver” rule that the legendary math teacher Jaime Escalante used. In fact, Mr. Escalante began by not allowing a student into the classroom until the student had personally answered a homework question.

  7. pam February 4, 2017 at 12:37 am #

    i became all choked up while watching the video……
    i have been so discouraged these past few months……..seriously down……but after i saw this video……
    i really FEEL,BELIEVE we’re going to be o.k……
    as a society,as a community as a country…….
    thanks to this teacher and his students…….i am now hopeful…….
    the world is a better place with these students and their magnificant teacher…….
    love

  8. Greg February 4, 2017 at 1:14 am #

    I am just a huge buzz kill thinking that those kids and that teacher spend an enormous amount of time practicing that when they should have been learning? I wonder if they do that every morning before class? At my kid’s school they have fun but get a lot done and don’t need gimmicks like this. I will pass I prefer my kid’s last few teachers they are amazing.

  9. BL February 4, 2017 at 5:36 am #

    @Greg
    “I am just a huge buzz kill thinking that those kids and that teacher spend an enormous amount of time practicing that when they should have been learning?”

    No, I was thinking the same thing. The words of a former president kept running through me mind:

    “Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?

  10. Katie G February 4, 2017 at 6:35 am #

    What we term “programs” are often a vehicle to build relationships and toi transmit intangible, non-measurable, skills. For example, there have been plenty of teachers, librarians, or neighbors who have set up chess programs in low-income areas and really helped a lot of kids (mainly boys) improve academically and in plenty of ther ways. (The great thing about chess is it’s so inexpensive to run a club, since all you need are the sets and a place to do it, and a set can be had for peanuts.)

  11. Steve February 4, 2017 at 1:08 pm #

    @Greg,
    Not every second, or every minute, or every hour, or even every day in school needs to be devoted to cramming some useless piece of information into kids’ brains. The purpose of school should be to help develop high-performing adults. But I look around at the adults I know, and none of them are successful because of anything they learned in elementary school. They’re successful because of the people they are — smart, sure. But mostly, hard-working, kind, able to work well with others, and mostly they’re curious and independent learners.

    Mr. White seems like a fantastic teacher.

  12. Librarymomma February 4, 2017 at 4:36 pm #

    What a beautiful video. Thank you for sharing it. I’m still wiping the tears (of joy) from my eyes.

  13. Donna February 6, 2017 at 8:59 am #

    “I am just a huge buzz kill thinking that those kids and that teacher spend an enormous amount of time practicing that when they should have been learning?”

    This is likely the most important learning that these kids do all day. Unfortunately, it is pretty easy to determine based on the racial makeup of the class that this is a low income school. 95-99% of those kids don’t live with their father and at least half have no regular contact with him. Their male influence is largely the men hanging around in the ‘hood and mom’s current “fiance” (defined as person she is living with today). Several of those kids likely don’t even live with their mother. They live with grandmothers, great grandmothers, aunts, cousins, or god mothers or foster homes either through formal arrangements with CPS or informal arrangements because mom can’t or won’t take care of them. Several likely have one or both parents in jail or prison, and the ones who don’t definitely have some of their male role models in prison. Most of their parents, if not all, did not graduate from high school, many of these kids being born before their parents reached graduation age. None graduated from college. Few, if any, come from homes that value education and several come from homes that are hostile towards education. Drugs, abuse, violence and sexual assault are far more common than books in their world.

    A black man showing them some positive, non-sexual attention and making education fun – showing them that it is something that they can do and still keep their “blackness” – may be the most important lesson they learn in school ever.

  14. Madi D February 13, 2017 at 10:26 pm #

    Lovely video! What an amazing teacher.

    Thanks for sharing