Being a teacher is meaningful.
Just yesterday, Hector Montez, a student of Walser’s, gifted his teacher a pair of Jordans he’s wanted for almost two decades. Montez handed Walser the pair while surrounded by High School classmates who filmed the exchange for Montez.
In the video, Montez presents the box to Walser while thanking him for “always keeping it real with me,” and hands him the box of sneakers. Walser expresses some initial hesitation—he briefly worries that something’s going to jump out of the box at him—but after Montez reminds him of a conversation that happened years earlier about Walser’s favorite shoes his face changes from trepidation to glee.
When he pops open the box, Walser gasps: “What?! I’ve wanted these since I was in sixth grade and I never got them… I can’t believe this.”
The sneakers in question are Air Jordan Taxi 12s, which had their latest release in 2013, and Walser threw them on immediately, admitting that they didn’t match what he was wearing that day. But today he rectified his sartorial issues and dressed appropriately for the Jordan game shoes, donning a pair of Nike athletic pants, a white tee, and a gray sweatband-type-thing.
Dressed in this new fit, he took at least one appropriately baller photo of himself with his students.
In Walser’s size, this 2013 release is currently selling for just under $400 on the open market (although it’s possible Montez found them at a lower price on eBay or a similar marketplace). For the sneaker obsessed there are always pairs that got away; we refer to them as “grails.” These are the sneakers that are rare enough that the collector couldn’t get their hands on them, or they just don’t have enough money to pay an exorbitant resale price. Walser is a teacher in Texas with two young children–it’s a sound financial decision for him not to spend hundreds of dollars on a pair of vanity sneakers.
Montez is enrolled in Walser’s AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) class, which teaches a system specifically created to help students prepare for their futures using education as a tool rather than an obligation. $400 is a lot of money for one student to get together himself.
But even if he crowd-funded with his peers (and parents) to give their teacher an unsolicited gift, it proves one thing without a doubt: Whatever they’re learning is working.