A+ News: First impressions and proper handshakes at Jenkins Middle School

Jenkins Middle School
Students at Jenkins Middle School learn first impression skills. / Christina Dawidowicz -- FOX21 News

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — From the proper handshake to good eye contact, it all adds up.

“I was actually doing quite of a weak handshake at first,” said Sierra Paris, an 8th grader at Jenkins Middle School. “It’s a huge impact on what others think and what the person you’re meeting thinks.”

Students at JMS are brushing up on these personal skills in their new Teen Leadership class.

“Those skills are really what will help us and then we back it up with our academics and athletic ability or whatever else we’re doing. But if we’re missing that piece sometimes we don’t even get to have the opportunity to show really, the skills the that we have,” said Marley Wheeler, Teen Leadership teacher at JMS.

Students learn about public speaking, setting goals and working in teams.

“Have good eye contact, ’cause it like, says to the person that you’re confident, and you need a firm handshake and you need to look nice,” said Kai Heglar, a 7th grader at JMS.

“After Teen Leadership I started to realized that I needed to make better first impressions. So, I started to really use those things that she taught us when I met new people,” said Nneo Mamagmus, another 7th grader at JMS.

It’s face-to-face communication that you don’t get through social media.

“It’s important to learn because it will help us in the future – getting a good job, getting into a good college,” Heglar said.

Teachers say they already see a big difference in their students.

Teen Leadership is an exploratory course similar to an electives course and it’s open to students of all grade levels.

Teachers say these are skills students can carry with them as they grow up.

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