Kim Blevins teaches high school English and journalism. She was awarded the 2011-2012 Missouri Secondary Educator of the Year by the Missouri State Teacher’s Association. Blevins is a Teacher-consultant with the Ozarks Writing Project, an affiliate of the National Writing Project. She earned her bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate from Missouri State University and her master’s degree in Education from Lindenwood University.

Articles by Kim

When a Student Says No to College

John was in my eighth-grade class. He was a rascal and my favorite kind of student. He was rambunctious and smart as a whip. And he and his family lived in poverty. His favorite memory of middle school is when I gave him detention time after school. “Why’d I get this?” he exclaimed. “Because you’ve racked up four deductions for talking and disrupting class,” I calmly said. He looked down at the detention slip, “Well, OK then.” It’s one of our favorite stories.

Encouraging Giving and Connections

I like to switch things up every once in a while, so I assigned my high school students a project I’d never done before—a gift book. In addition to the academic value, I hoped to strengthen at least one teen-adult connection at a time when it’s sometimes hard to just grunt, “Good morning,” without an argument. (I know this because I have two teens in my own house.) I also wanted students to be able to create a keepsake to give a loved one during the holiday season. Many students could not afford to buy anything. In our rural school, many students come from low-income homes.

Tour Brings American History To Life

Through a grant from Teaching American History, I was part of a group of teachers who spent months reading, listening and watching films and videos about the civil rights movement before we took a trip to the South. But still it was history—far away, untouchable and remote. That was until the first day in Sumner, Miss.

A Journey by ‘Shoe’ May Help Grow Hearts

The undercurrent affects my classroom. I can feel its tug and see its effects but can rarely locate the source or the exact flow. Cruel taunts and gossip are the culprits behind my students’ tears, stony faces—their anger and their fear. The ferociousness of the few vicious communications I have been privy to as a high school teacher caught me off guard. High school can be a shark tank and the blood flows with every passing class period, thanks in part to the popularity of online social media. I feel helpless to save the victims because I don’t even know who they are half the time.
Illustration of person holding and looking at laptop.

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