Junior High school teacher, Kate McKenzie's students told her they felt hopeless because there were insurmountable problems and bad news everywhere they looked. Kate set out to inspire her students by demonstrating how one small action can make the world a little bit better. Now she's taking her lesson on the road to inspire many more people to make a difference and generate positive news. Be part of the adventure! Follow along as she travels to eight countries in eight months, seeking out community leaders who are innovating creative solutions that bring people together and create positive change.
I always encourage my students to take a step out of their comfort zone and be okay with taking risks. I even have broken track and field hurdles up around my classroom to remind them that it is okay to run at life’s obstacles at 100%. If you fall, I remind them, it’s okay, just remember to get back up and keep going.
Somehow, when I have to take that advice myself it gets a lot harder! I was invited today to speak at TEDxYYC. I’m honoured, excited but mostly nervous! This talk will be an amazing opportunity to share positive news with a new group of people and to honour those who participated in Worldviews Project. There’s a part of me though that still always feels scared. What if no one is interested? What if I mess it up?
I guess I’m also nervous that I’ll be branded as “Positive Story Girl” instead of Kate. I’m not positive all the time. Sometimes I’m angry and I want to punch people or yell or scream. I just try to work really hard to control those feelings and act in a better way. I’m scared that somehow giving this talk will make people think I have it all figured out, which I don’t. I’m just trying to be brave enough to say that my intention is to be positive.
I’m not so different from my students, taking that first step and staring that obstacle in the face is hard. I’m determined to do it though. I want to be the kind of person who approaches these kinds of challenges with courage rather than fear.
I will need all of you supporting me in this journey. I need to know when I step on that stage on June 14th that there is a community of people behind me cheering me on. Because, ultimately it’s not about me at all. I’m giving this TED talk because I believe that we need to share positive news. So even if I’m not the perfect ambassador for this message I’m going to give it my best shot. Keep your fingers crossed for me! Or better yet, buy a ticket and come be a friendly face in the audience!
Working in colaboration with my Gr.8 students we have created 16 podcasts about our journey to discover new experiences in Calgary! Come and hear the podcasts and share in our unique experiences April 11, 2013 at Alice Jamieson Girls’ Academy!
Over the last few months, I have been working tirelessly with my current Gr.8 students to create podcasts. Their mission was to go out into Calgary and expand their worldview. They had 20 tasks to complete ranging from trying a new type of ethnic cuisine to taking a new form of transportation. It was amazing to see my students tackle new experiences head on and look for ways to explore everything Calgary has to offer! Too often we fail to see the wonder and beauty that’s in our own backyard so it has been awesome to have the chance to see Calgary through a new light!
We partnered with Calgary 2012 GIGYYC and Danielle Nerman from CBC Radio to be able to create 16 podcasts! We will be sharing each of these stories this Thursday, April 11, 2013 at Alice Jamieson Girls’ Academy at 7pm. We look forward to seeing you there!
I created this playlist for those days when everything seems to go wrong. Sometimes we all just need a little pick-me-up or something that will help us smile when we really don’t feel like it. So many songs out there just talk about what we’re missing in life or all the difficulty. So, I wanted to put a playlist out there of some of my favourite artists (and those shared by many of you) that remind us why life’s good too. Enjoy!
Amazing idea by Izhar Gafni filmed by Giora Kariv. Using a completely new engineering philosophy to create a bicycle that is economic, environmental and innovative! Izhar demonstrates that we can make our communities better by following what we are passionate about and making it a reality!
Check out what me and Lucas wore in Iran! Took me a while to adjust to figuring out how I was going to make my own style. I was completely amazed by the women of Iran and their ability to wear a headscarf in so many different ways.
I’d ask other women how they kept theirs in place and try and copy their skills! And we also had to ask how it was possible that some women wore their hair in what looked like a return to Prascilla Elvis’ beehive hair-do. We’d try to get glimpses as they passed but finally had to ask a friend. She quickly showed us it was all made possible by a giant “loofa-like” hair clip worn at the crown of the head so that they could wear their scarf just a wee bit further back. It took the big hair look to a whole new level.
People have asked me if it was strange to wear a head scarf. Yes in some ways but no in others. I didn’t view it as a big deal since for me it was just about showing respect for their culture. But it was also amazing to arrive in Israel and be able to feel the breeze against my skin after being covered up for so long! Perhaps my favourite perspective on hijab though came from one of my former students who told me “I like wearing a head-scarf because when I’m wearing it I know that I’m not being judged on how I look but rather on what I say and my actions.” Pretty amazing perspective!
http://youtu.be/a1bqYo0ralU I just arrived in Pakistan and wanted to pass on a quick moment I captured on camera especially since today is World Environment Day. These youth were marching in 45°C weather to show support for the environment! Inspiring! All I felt like doing was finding the nearest air conditioned place and drinking as much water as possible! Hope you all have a wonderful day and are able to find some small way to be grateful for our beautiful earth.
One of my good friends, Cathy Yost, has been an amazing support to me through this project by helping me to work through things I have struggled with along the way. I knew I needed to have a Skype date with her after the cockroach incident in Rwanda.
I heard it scuttling and immediately freaked out jumping on top of my bed, barricading myself inside my bug net while swinging my only weapon, a welcome mat! I knew in that moment that my reaction was ridiculous but how could I get over my fear of spiders, cockroaches and all creepy crawlies?
Cathy helped me to realize that it wasn’t about the bugs it was about looking for what I wanted to see. That if I chose to look for the good I wouldn’t see as much of the bad. So that has been my challenge over the last coupe of months -- to not look for the creepy crawlies, to keep going one step at a time forward in this journey of becoming more courageous in small ways.
Tinto Tintero is a cultural hub in Medellin, Colombia. I was so impressed to hear how Dave, a former teacher has, with the help of his partner, Monica, started a business model that is not only financially successful but is also making their community a better place! They have found a way to merge their passion for art, culture, literature and music all within one location. Through their efforts, they are transforming their community by providing opportunities for culture and offering a diverse array of options for entertainment throughout the week. But it is not only culture they are offering but also a public space devoted to building a strong sense of community.