Story of teacher who created special handshake for each of her 22 students continues to warm hearts

Claudine Varela
Dec 12, 2018
03:07 A.M.

This third-grade teacher gave a new meaning to the term hands-on. Every morning she greets each of her 22 students with a unique handshake and it’s impressive.


Jerusa Willenborg is an elementary teacher in Kansas who dedicates time, effort and a lot of memory in greeting her students every day. Before her third-grade students enter their classroom, they line up outside and are met at the entrance by Willenborg who performs a flawless routine involving handshakes.


Each student has a distinct handshake, making every greeting a special one. What is even more impressive is the fact that she has 22 students, resulting in 22 types of handshakes.

Willenborg does the same routine every morning, a performance that she’s nailed to a tee at the time it was recorded on video and the clip went viral. Each handshake is elaborate with fist bumps, hugs, claps, and dance moves and every student owns a specific combination. It’s amazing how Willenborg memorized all the handshakes. But that’s probably because she’s been doing it for four years now and students are loving it.



According to the dedicated teacher, the idea started when a student requested a special greeting. Speaking to Inside Edition, she recalled,

“I just had a student who wanted something more than a high-five and knuckles and he kept adding on to it every day and the rest of my kids wanted one and it just hasn't stopped.”

As for how she memorized each handshake, Willenborg said she has a technique.

“I look them in the eyes and I know their handshakes. I have them do it at least three times in a row so that it sticks to both of us.”


It’s never perfect, she admits, often times making mistakes like her students do. Regardless, it is pretty meaningful. She laments,

"It is special between me and that one student. That one student knows I care about them."



The lengths to which Willenborg went to greet her students every day reminds us of what one fourth grade teacher did to welcome his students ahead of the first day of school. Dwayne Reed intended to entice his students to show up in class so he produced a music video called “Welcome to the Fourth Grade.” In the clip, Reed raps his introductions to an upbeat tune while moving from one section of the school to another. He introduces himself, his class and what students can expect while changing costumes and shifting backgrounds. He uploaded the clip on YouTube and tagged his students and their parents ahead of their first meeting. His video was an instant hit that even news outlets got wind of it. Reed even appeared on “Good Morning America” due to the popularity of his innovative greeting.

Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
Related posts

On Her First Day in New School Girl Enters Classroom and Meets Her Carbon Copy – Story of the Day

January 31, 2022

Woman Reads Poor Old Artist’s Original Story and Decides to Visit His Home – Story of the Day

May 19, 2022

Rich School Boy Notices His Teacher Visits Abandoned House after Class and Decides to Follow Her – Story of the Day

May 06, 2022

Students Despise Tough Teacher with No Family until Learning He's Cared for Sick Babies for 20 Years

April 17, 2022

Jimmy Carter's Youngest Child, His Only Daughter, Attended Public School That Was 'About to Close Down'

February 08, 2022

Boy on Walker Gets Injured on School Staircase - Mom Finds Out the Same Day

April 28, 2022

Woman Rents Her Apartment to New Tenant, Gets Suspicious Seeing Teenagers Constantly Visiting Him – Story of the Day

May 21, 2022

Coworkers and Parents Find Out School Janitor Takes 3 Buses and Walks 2 Miles to Get To Work

April 20, 2022

77-Year-Old School Janitor Who Never Had a Birthday Party Hears Her Name on a Loudspeaker

January 31, 2022

Grandparents Kick Pregnant Teen Out in the Cold, Years Later They Ask For Her Help — Story of the Day

March 12, 2022

Teacher Learns Kids Bullied Little Boy Because of Jersey His Grandmother Knitted Him — Story of the Day

January 25, 2022

Rich Man Arrives at Hotel, Faints as He Sees His Wife Working as a Maid There — Story of the Day

February 26, 2022

Woman Returns Home from Work and Finds Out Son She Left with His Stepfather Has Disappeared— Story of the Day

May 03, 2022

Little Girl Cries All Alone in Her House after Mom Fails to Return from the Grocery Store — Story of the Day

February 03, 2022