Affective Needs Teacher

Affective Needs Teacher
            This year I accepted a job as an affective needs teacher. (Wait while I draw a deep breath)
This has not been a successful teaching year. I read a book called “Angry Young Men” by Aaron Kipnis, PhD., and I kind of understand why I haven’t been successful. 
            There are many reasons and while I would like to say that none of them are because of me, it just wouldn’t be true. I am not a male.  I am not a lot of things, but an affective needs teacher must be in touch with who and what kind of person you really are and not what you would like to be.  The core beliefs that are needed are cookie cutter, but they must be your own without any apologies.  The moral fiber has to be intact in your soul and confident in yourself. I am a white woman.
            I thought the main reason behind this was because these kids were street smart and could smell bull poopy and mile off.  This is true. However, I am coming off a bad year and I am trying to get my confidence back.  These kids on the other had have been through a lot and based on what I read in this book. The root cause is both nature and nurture.  The children have been born to young parents and were either preemies and/or had some form of fetal alcohol syndrome.  Since then, they have been part of an abusive home life, been in foster homes, and either don’t have a father figure or have an abusive father figure at home.
            As I read the book, I realized that all of my students have experienced all of the items a din some ways are on the seven pathways that lead to jail.  The sad part is that I am part of the pathway that leads to prison, not jail, not juvenile hall, and not an institution, prison. Dr. Kipnis is one of these angry young men.  However, he stats that he has had the help that he recommends in this book for boys who are on their way to become an angry young man.  What is really sad is that there is not one type, except to say is that they they are all boys.

            I read this book as part of a freelancing gig I accepted.  I will be reading it over again because I skimmed over most of it because of my time limit.  This helped me to understand why this has been and unmitigated mess. I highly recommend this book to anyone who works with boys, especially boys who are at risk.

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