Teaching in an inner-city school changed my mind about crocs.

I have been a teacher for well over a decade. I hate the title of the “cool teacher” and it doesn’t apply here. But for what it’s worth I am generally considered the fashion-forward teacher on the staff. My outfits don’t get made fun of. This is especially true of my shoes. After all, I was a “sneaker-head” before these students were born. But there is one shoe trend I never could get behind: Crocs.

I have always personally found them hideous. However, lately, they are growing on me. Not because I have changed my mind about the way they look. But because of how practical they are and what that means for students from a lower-income background.

Crocs are cheap, easy to clean, and here is the most important part: popular. What this means is a student can have an economical, and practical shoe that will not get them laughed out of the classroom.

I have seen the impact firsthand. One of my students is homeless. He survives mostly off what people give to him. In years past that would be a pair of generic tennis shoes or worse, old and worn ones. Today it means a couple of pairs of Crocs. Combine that with a school uniform and nobody can tell what he is going through. Just the way he likes it.

I can tell you right now, I will never wear Crocs. But I love the fact that students have landed on an affordable and inclusive trend.

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