A Tennesee educator who memorized the individual handshakes and greetings of all of his 75 students is now appearing in a Gap commercial.
According to Gap Inc., fifth-grade teacher David Jamison and his infectious spirit is the embodiment of its campaign to promote inclusivity, optimism and enthusiasm during its GapKids back-to-school campaign.
Jamison, who teaches at Hickory Ridge Elementary School, went viral in 2019 when he demonstrated that he could do 75 different handshake dances with each of his students, according to ABC 24 in Memphis. In total, Jamison has reportedly committed to memory the unique handshakes of over 200 current and former students, part of which was shown on “Good Morning America.”
Gap executives decided to feature Jamison, aka “The Dope Educator,” and his students as part of its devotion to the “INDIVIDUAL,” which aligns with its brand ethos.
Gap’s new partnership with the Memphis teacher is running from July 27, 2021, through Aug. 22 during the company’s back-to-school sales season.
— Dr. Joris M. Ray (@SCSSuptRay) July 26, 2021
Jamison admits that he was frequently disruptive in the classroom as an adolescent, but now has done a 360-degree turn in how he views teachers and teaching.
“I realized that part of the reason why is because I didn’t have teachers who looked like me,” he reflected to ABC 24. “When I decided to become a teacher, I not only felt called to help change representation in education, but to be a role model kids need.
“Experiences in early childhood education shape who we are the rest of our lives. I am honored to play a role in the lives of my students and our handshakes are just a small piece of the change I hope to create. It’s our job as a community to nurture all children so they can flourish and reach their greatest potential.”
Jamison’s enthusiasm and passion for teaching, coupled with his lovingly unique way of connecting with his students, have become so infectious that even his principal, Dr. Joris Ray, had to participate in the ceremonial handshake greeting.
Flip the page to view the principal do a handshake dance with Jamison.
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