The high 5

It’s such a simple and mundane gesture isn’t it, a high 5, yet it carries so much weight, no it really does, ever hear the statement “come on bro, are you going to just leave me hanging?”

It’s kinda of a rule, you can’t leave a bro hanging from receiving a high 5 it’s there in the social rules, it should be in the testament too

As a teacher to young students, a high 5 is synonymous to a reward, perhaps can be considered to be more important than stars/money/gifts or whatever rewarding system you might use; A high 5 goes beyond the logic of being a “reward” it’s praise that includes [physical contact]

I once wrote a short “poem” about the significance of hand holding, honestly I’ve written about hand holding a bunch of times, it’s just a simple gesture but yet carries so much weight and meaning in relationships.

For a child, a high 5 has that kind of sense, I mean not just for the child but for the teacher and the parent as well.

Let me explain

I like kids, nay, I love kids; kids are like an empty canvas waiting to be painted on; their world is almost blank, and we “adults” fill it with all these experiences, sometimes I wish we didn’t, some experiencesvmore bad than others but experiences none the less.

Being a foreign teacher, one of the things the kids struggle to grasp is this strange fellow with very different skin than their own; worse if this child has already had their blank canvas painted on that this skin should be feared.

Yet, we proceed none the less, and the initial, the first step is perhaps to try break the contact barrier. I have learned that if you can break the contact barrier (high 5) with the child, the journey becomes more smooth.

We all know how awful it can momentarily feel when a child refuses to give you a high 5 or maybe it’s just me; this little bastard is basically leaving you hanging, s/he should really read the social rules…you don’t leave a brother hanging!!

I once had a student like that in a demo, only one who refused to give me a high 5, I smiled at the notion, told him, I’ll break you  soon.

And then it happens, you break the barrier, the little guy gives you a high 5 and it’s rewarding for both of you, and the parents; everyone is joyous and all cheer hooray‼ Yeah that actually happened everyone clapped so loud.

Somehow once that barrier has been broken, the stakes reverse

“Mwahahaha” that’s my evil laugh.

The stakes reverse that you as a teacher are now in power; this simple gesture of high 5 has now become Thanos’s gauntlet, if you refuse to give the high 5 to the student, it hurts them.

“Mwahahaha, yeah, told you never leave a brother hanging, how does it feel now?!”

By giving this high 5 it is like you are giving a gift; You are uttering well done, I’m proud of you, without even saying a word.

This gesture, the high 5 has a lot of power that perhaps as teachers we don’t pay attention to, perhaps we do, I can see the eager anticipation from students waiting to give an answer after they saw others receiving a high 5 for giving an answer too

Probably saying I want one of those.

There are some questions: Should you use the high 5 as punishment? Refuse to give it to a student who is naughty/misbehaving/didn’t get the correct answer? It’s debatable, not to say that I haven’t done it before, yeah, I’ve left some little suckers hanging…syke

You got to earn this high 5, I definitely feel like I worked hard to earn it from you (student) as well, especially in the start of our relationship.

So, from teacher to teachers, let’s use our gauntlets wisely, don’t be Oprah, don’t be snapping high 5s all over the place.

You get a high 5! You get a high 5 everybody’ gets a high 5!!

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