Ontario English Catholic Teachers

Mr. Cameron gets MAD.

Peter Cameron teaches his students the value of making a difference and the importance of using our greater connectivity to create a positive impact and build strong, happy and resilient communities. He teaches at St. Elizabeth School in Thunder Bay.

Years ago, I started a project called MAD (Make a Difference). A colleague and I had a yard sale and raised $500. We used the money to take the kids shopping for groceries that we loaded up and delivered to a local shelter house — we even got a tour. It was my favourite activity because we were going beyond the textbook.

As a class, we decided to share our experience online. Our story spread and soon people all over the world were taking on their own MAD initiatives. It even caught the attention of our MP who challenged everyone in the House of Commons to “MAD.” As the idea spread, I think it showed the kids the power of their own voice and their ability to make an impact.

During my time as a teacher I’ve learned some of the most valuable lessons can’t be found in a textbook. Kids spend such a large portion of their day at school and a lot of the lessons that shape their outlook on the world and shape them as human beings happen in the classroom. The MAD project exposed kids to people in need of help and showed them the power of community to make a difference. When we stand together as a community, we can help those who are struggling. The power of community can also uplift us and make us resilient when we inevitably face our own adversities in life – together we are stronger. My kids have definitely taught me the power of connection.