This Teacher Learned 75 Different Handshakes to Connect With His 5th Graders

Middle schoolers can be a tricky group to connect with let alone getting them interested in doing school work. One teacher has found a creative and fun way to spark happiness, curiosity, and inclusiveness in his classroom; he learned 75 individual handshakes that his students created on their own.  SEVENTY FIVE. Can you imagine!?

David Jamison is a teacher at Hickory Ridge Elementary School in Memphis, Tennessee where he has 75 kids he’s in charge of education on the finer points of language arts. To keep their eyes from glazing over out of sheer boredom, he devised an awesome strategy to help each of them feel pumped for learning and also uniquely seen and heard. In other words, this amazing teacher found a way to show these kids that they have value and that they should invest in themselves by learning. 


Jamison told Good Morning America, “It increases that bond with the students. When you have that kind of relationship with a kid, they don’t want to let you down because they know you love and care for them.”

Shelby County Schools, where Jamison teaches, shared a video of the teacher greeting his students using their individual handshakes and it has since exploded online, delighting viewers everywhere. 

Jamison told Good Morning America that it takes about a minute to get through the handshake greetings before class. Of his 75 students, each of his three classes with them has 25 kids. What’s more impressive, he challenges his kids to create imaginative handshakes, the more complex the better and the kids with the most innovative handshake earns a prize.

Teachers who take time to find meaningful ways to connect with their students are the teachers who will ultimately make the most difference in their lives. Making education fun? Heck yeah. Making kids feel valued and respected? You bet. This teacher has some mad skills and we are so here for it.

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