Say what you will about this generation of kids growing up, God knows we already hear enough about them, but I think we forget sometimes that all these stories are just that, stories, and they really only reflect a small percentage of today’s youth. Perhaps the real problem is what we’re focused on and what’s fed to us in the news and on the Internet. Then a story like this comes along and puts everything back into perspective.
In the spirit of giving, a group of high school students in Toronto got their gym teacher a pair of his favourite shoes, and the heartwarming video has racked up nearly 400,000 views. But what those shoes really meant to Mr. Blakey is what makes this story so special.
Aidan Thomson, one of the twenty-five students in David Blakey’s Grade 10 gym class at Etobicoke School of the Arts, said in an interview that the idea to buy his teacher a pair of shoes came to him after being inspired by similar videos on YouTube.
“I wanted to give back to Mr. Blakey because he does so much for us, I just didn’t know how. But after seeing videos online of so many other kids doing random acts of kindness for classmates and janitors in the [United] States, I figured we could do the same for Mr. Blakey,” Thomson said. “He’s like a best friend to all of us. He plays basketball with us at lunchtime, helps us with our essays and other schoolwork, he even gives us space to work in the gym and honestly, he’s just a really nice guy.”
So after pooling together the cash with his classmates, they decided to buy him a pair of black and red Bred Air Jordan 13’s, the same shoes that he started his teaching career with 20 years earlier. Mr. Blakey says those shoes were the first and only pair of Jordans he ever owned.
“Twenty years ago I bought my only pair of Jordan’s and I started my teaching career with those Jordan shoes. It gave me a little bit of celebrity status as a new teacher with the J’s on. It made me legit.”
His former students loved his shoes so much that they would always ask to wear them to play basketball. And being the awesome guy that he is, Mr. Blakey always let them. In fact, he lent out his shoes so often that during one game, a student was running down the court and the soles fell right off.
“We taped them up, laughed about it and that was the end of me and Jordans,” he said.
Or so he thought.
When his students ask him about Jordans now, his response is always that he buys them for his two kids instead (I wasn’t lying when I said this guy is awesome). And so, to be surprised with such a sentimental gift from these Grade 10 kids, who Mr. Blakey said are like his own children, truly touched him.
“It’s honestly one of the highlights of my career.”
These are some really great kids right here. Good job guys!
Check out the video of the emotional moment.
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