On a difficult day at school, or when trying to balance school, work and home, you may find that the decision to drop out of school may appear to be the right thing to do. But the truth is, staying in school often makes more sense. Fear of failing, being intimidated by the system, or thinking that education really wouldn’t make a difference to your life chances are thoughts that often lead to young people dropping out of school.
I have spent several years as an educator working with students from kindergarten to university and as a former columnist for a weekly community newspaper. As a volunteer with non-profit organizations servicing children and youth, parents and the marginalized, I have held different positions as community worker and as board member. I have had the opportunity to speak to adolescent and young adult male prison inmates in their institution on a personal level, and learned a great deal from them, as I did from my students and from the many different individuals and groups that I have met along the way. From my graduate studies, I learned about research, anti-racist education, and community relations.
As a person of colour, I have firsthand experience on the many micro-aggressions that are part of daily living of non-white peoples in our society. Fortunately, I have been able to rise above these and share with students and colleagues, white and non-white alike, how these micro-aggressions, which are so embedded in our society, can cause severe harm to all of us. What I have discovered is that greater respect for ourselves and for each other and deliberate efforts to eradicate implicit bias and disrespect are necessary tools for more harmonious and equitable living and for the realization of social justice.
Books by Israelin Shockness
Emotional Intelligence, the ability to understand and manage emotions, is about getting along with others. Understanding more about emotional intelligence could be the answer to many concerns that young people have. For example, some young people often lament: “No one cares about me”; “People are always picking on me”; “My parents don’t understand me”; “I don’t know why my friends treat me that way”.
Growing up can be a very stressful experience for some older teens and young adults. Issues relating to independence and autonomy loom high, while issues pertaining to making the right impression, being accepted as part of a group, and knowing what their responsibilities are as emerging adults can be serious concerns for themselves and family members.
Respect is Only Human: A Response to Disrespect and Implicit Bias takes a look at our society, embedded with social injustice, revealed in racial, ethnic, religious and other discrimination, and even with hatred that threatens to destroy our very humanity, if left unchecked. This book also shows how implicit or unconscious bias, unknowingly fostered in us from our early lives, underlies social injustice and unfairness.