Retiring English teacher Kim Blevins to travel abroad

Kim Blevins

Kim Blevins

By Olivia Svoboda


English teacher Kim Blevins is all about keeping life interesting.

“I get bored with places, and I switch about every five years. I’ve been to Marionville, (MO), Mount Vernon Middle School – I used to teach middle school – then Mount Vernon High School, (MO), then Willard, (MO), then Lee’s Summit alternative. And now Blue Springs,” Blevins said.

She has taught for 21 years in total, and after five years at South, Blevins is ending her career journey with retirement.

“I’m so excited. I am packing up my Subaru and driving off to Seattle the last week of June. [I’m] selling 97% of what I own, and I’m going to live half the year in Seattle and – I just figured out – half the year in Portugal,” Blevins said.

She got the idea of living in Portugal from a TikTok. Blevins is learning Portuguese to prepare for her adventure.

Until then, though, Blevins will be finishing the school year and ensuring the yearbook makes its way to students. She has overseen yearbook her entire time at South.

“[It’s] stressful, but [in] that class you really get to know each other. It’s a smaller staff and people can be in there for more than one year. That’s been the most fun – getting to know the kids,” Blevins said. 

She has also built great friendships with her peers. 

“I’ve become really close friends with Mrs. Raouf. [She] is my work wife. Mr. Mathis would probably be my work husband. What would [Mr.] McCleary be, my work brother? I’m not sure. And Miss Morrow – those people have really become family, and I just adore them,” Blevins said. 

Besides the people she has met, Blevins has also had many interesting experiences at South. 

“I signed up for the Wall Street Journal. It was free for teachers. I knew it was a daily paper, I just didn’t think about the fact that I was going to get 20 daily papers. They ended up being at the corner of my room stacked five feet high. I kept trying to [give] papers to people to read; nobody wanted them. It became this hilarious problem where they were just flowing in, and I couldn’t get them stopped, and the kids were laughing about it. Nobody wanted to read it, but they were just stacking up in the corner,” she said. 

Looking back at her career, Blevins sees some ways her teaching methods have evolved. 

“I’ve gotten tougher. I used to be – and my kids would probably laugh at that because I’m pretty chill – but I used to be so worried that if I would say no to a kid it would hurt their psyche or something. Now I know it’s okay. The classroom has to be organized for everybody to learn, and that’s probably how I’ve changed the most. I’ve gotten a little tougher with my classroom management,” Blevins said. 

There are two things Blevins has loved most about teaching. 

“One is the crazy moments of laughter that we’ll have just over the most random things. The other one is when a student sees they’re a good writer. I think that’s super exciting,” Blevins said.