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Pre-K teacher has a cool handshake for each student and it helps them express themselves

Jonahthon Hines became Georgia's first African American Pre-K Teacher of the Year in 2019.

Pre-K teacher has a cool handshake for each student and it helps them express themselves
Cover Image Source: Instagram / @swooshmoneyhines

Mr. Jonahthon Hines is a Pre-K teacher with an outstanding combination of ability and kindness that will make any child want to stay in school all the time. He works as a teacher at Barack H. Obama Elementary Magnet School of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, the county's first public school named after the 44th US President. You see, Hines has a special handshake for all of his students. How cute is that? He said that each of the kids created their handshake style, and Hines seemed to simply roll with it. Hines is seen greeting his kids right before entering the classroom in an Instagram post that has gone viral.


"I’ve learned that kids thrive the most when they can express themselves!!! This year Pre-K wanted to have a unique way to greet each other (and say farewell). Each child came up with a handshake! As you can see, there was a lot of dancing and a lot of hugs. Each child’s handshake showed a little bit of their personality!", read the caption on the post. Moreover, in 2019, Mr. Hines became Georgia's first African American Pre-K Teacher of the Year. According to AJC, Angela Thomas-Bethea, the principal at Obama said that having Hines as a teacher is an ultimate game changer. “It’s personal for us, and we’re trying to show that good things can come out of a community that’s been written off as poor-performing.” She added, “We know children cannot control where they are born and who their parents are."



She continued, "Through his impact, we see a difference in the children. They’re communicating better and performing better. It’s just changing the whole dynamic of the relationship. And it started in Pre-K.” As the teacher of the year, Hines got a cheque of $7,500, with $2,000 going to school, $2,500 going to a classroom renovation, and $3,000 to himself. He plans on traveling around the state, sharing his practices and other teaching tricks with other educators. “We’ve all been inspired by a teacher who helped us to see the best in ourselves,” said Superintendent Steve Green. “Education is not a one-size-fits-all arena. Every year brings a different group of young students with varying needs. And every school needs a teacher like Mr. Hines, one who inspires students to love being at school. This is what we want for all of DeKalb County School District students, and what all teachers should aspire to,” he added.



While studies have proven that children learn best through playing, Mr. Hines' dedication to his children goes beyond the boundaries of quintessential teaching methods. Hines also mentioned that being a teacher wasn't his primary goal in life. He wanted to be a professional basketball player.  “My vision was always to be a professional basketball player, not a teacher, but they say 'if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans',” said Hines. He played basketball while in college, where he was pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree in Science, and eventually went abroad to play more basketball. However, after being back home, he decided to switch careers and wanted to go and try his luck in the teaching field. “I felt content that I had reached my personal goal as a professional basketball player, I knew that there was more in store for my life,” noted Hines. 



Upon being acknowledged as the Pre-K teacher of the year, Hines thought it was surreal. Winning Pre-K Teacher of The Year is one of the biggest milestones of my life. This was definitely an amazing feeling because I didn’t see myself obtaining such a lofty goal. It still seems unreal that I am the Pre-K Teacher of The Year for the entire state of Georgia,” he told to BTWC per Edlanta

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