'We look fancy': Chicago teacher helps students dress for success with 'Tie Tuesday'

A South Side grade school teacher is helping his students dress for success, and it all started with something he learned when he was little: how to tie a tie.

Every Tuesday is "Tie Tuesday" at Dixon Elementary in Chatham thanks to second-grade teacher Daniel Jackson, who learned to tie one at 7-years-old. 

"In college, I was reminded of how my grandfather taught me how to tie a tie. And I knew I wanted to teach other young men and women how to tie a tie just as I've done in our classroom," said Jackson.

"Tie Tuesday" started in his fraternity at Illinois State University. He liked it and brought it here when he started teaching five years ago.

"Each year at the beginning of the school year, I will teach the boys and girls how to tie a tie because I wanted them to learn how to be professionals," said Jackson. 


In this building, the tradition has continued beyond second grade.

His former students still wear them as they get older. He has now received tie donations and support from parents. 

"They want the children to be creative. They want the children to feel empowered in the classroom and in the community," said Jackson.

And it's working.

"I like it because I just think we look fancy," said second-grader Kaiden Phelps.

"It makes me feel better about myself sometimes and if my classmates do it, they feel better about themselves too," said fifth-grader Aden Redmon. 

And so does Jackson, who hopes the program expands beyond these walls.

"I want these young men and women to carry on this tradition. I would like this to be a legacy," said Jackson.