This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 1, 2009 - It seemed so right. Leslie Lewin, who since sixth grade had a passion to teach, was confident she could instruct and inspire her middle school charges. After all, she would be working in the very building that hosted her affirming experience as a student teacher. But a year later, Leslie was doing math in a bank, not a classroom.
From day one, she groped for a comfort level. She felt overwhelmed, even panicky, as she struggled with discipline problems and other issues.