A Tennessee teacher who memorized each of his 75 students’ handshakes and pleasantries is now featured in a Gap commercial.
David Jamison, a fifth-grade teacher, is the epitome of Gap Inc.’s drive to promote inclusivity, positivity, and enthusiasm during its GapKids back-to-school campaign, according to the company.
According to ABC 24 in Memphis, Jamison, a teacher at Hickory Ridge Elementary School, went viral in 2019 after demonstrating that he could execute 75 different handshake dances with each of his children. Jamison is said to have memorized the distinctive handshakes of over 200 present and former students, some of which were shown on “Good Morning America.”
Gap officials chose to highlight Jamison, dubbed “The Dope Educator,” and his students as part of the company’s commitment to the “INDIVIDUAL,” which is consistent with the company’s brand ethos.
During the company’s back-to-school sales season, Gap’s new relationship with the Memphis teacher will run from July 27, 2021, through August 22, 2021.
Jamison confesses that as an adolescent, he was regularly disruptive in the classroom, but he has since changed his mind about teachers and teaching.
He told ABC 24 that he understood part of the reason was because he didn’t have teachers that looked like him. “When I decided to become a teacher, I felt compelled not only to assist reform educational representation, but also to be a role model for children.
“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 zeal for teaching, as well as his lovingly distinctive manner of connecting with his students, has grown so contagious that even his principal, Dr. Joris Ray, had to join in the handshake welcome.