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North Carolina teacher Barry White Jr. made headlines recently when it was discovered that he shares something very dear and special with each of his more than 60-plus students: one-of-a-kind handshakes.
The idea came to White from — of all places — the basketball court. White, who is a fan of the Cleveland Cavaliers, told NBC Charlotte that he was inspired by Cavaliers forward LeBron James, who is renowned for sharing personalized hand claps, slaps and shakes with his basketball teammates.
This ritual has not only cast a spotlight on how White shares an unbreakable bond with all of his students, but also how one teacher goes above and beyond to make his students feel recognized.
So when he paid a recent visit to the TODAY studios, we asked him: What’s the one thing you wish parents would do every day before their kids leave for school?
According to White, it's all about encouraging your child in a positive way.
"I think the most important thing is just encouraging your child, pumping their day up before they get to school," he shared. "That can look like simply 'Hey I know you're going to have a great day,' and 'I'm proud of you.'"
Giving kids a positive point of view — even about the little things — is key to starting their day off right. He continued:
"Just giving them any type of positive narration, like: 'You woke up before I did — I'm glad you got dressed, I'm glad your books are ready.'" He finished by reiterating: "Just give them something that's positive."
While he was at TODAY, we also asked: What's something parents wish they knew about teachers?
The answer came easily to White. "I want you to know how much teachers really value your children. We really feel as though your kids are our kids."