The educator, who goes by @teachinthe6ix on Instagram, fundraised to obtain money for the sneakers and then collaborated with local customization studio Mack House to help each student design their pair.
She posted the reveal on her Instagram account, sharing the moment she surprised her students with the shoes after a viewing of Like Mike.
“My students come from all different walks of life and some don’t have the simple luxuries that we often take for granted, such as shoes. This year we really focused on creating an inclusive and welcoming environment within our classroom,” she wrote on Instagram. “From the moment they enter the classroom they know they are able to leave their worries at the door, because the classroom is a positive and safe space.”
“My method of teaching involves incorporating life lessons through curriculum. After watching Like Mike, the phrase ‘It’s not about the shoes, instead it’s who wears the shoes, that make them special’ really impacted them,” she continued.
“It made them realize that what’s on the outside is not what matters but it’s about your inner self and how you treat others that leaves an everlasting impression. It’s someone’s character that makes them special! Seeing my students come to that realization all on their own was a pivotal moment in their overall learning. Sometimes we as educators need to take a step back from curriculum and teach about humanity and it’s [sic] importance.”
She finished her Instagram video with a message thanking everyone who helped her provide the sneakers to the students: “Many thanks to my network online, GoFundMe and people in the community! It wouldn’t have been possible without any of you!” she wrote. “This is only the beginning! Can’t wait to do more projects like this!”