Hi, I’m Leslie. I used to be a middle school teacher. I quit after only three years of full-time teaching, and I haven’t returned. Even though I’m coming up on my three-year anniversary of when I left my teaching career, this is something about which I still feel embarrassment and, for some reason, shame. Teaching is a hard profession, and the term “hard” is multifaceted here. One of the reasons it’s hard is that, here in the U.S., the general social expectation is that teachers will give up everything to teach kids for laughably low salaries and be happy about it. So…when someone like me comes along and realizes that it’s just all too much and decides to leave…there’s a kind of judgment. This post is all about why I think I failed as a teacher and why it’s still hard for me to talk about.