Smith shares her passion for Spanish


Libby Winn

Smith interacts with Spanish 1 students Caleb Cantrell, Drew Krajicek, and Jade Lewis as they participate in a game. Smith teaches four levels of Spanish.

Making a life-changing decision can be frightening. Yet this is exactly what Yutan’s new Spanish teacher, Kayln Smith, did when she made the choice to start her teaching journey at Yutan High School. 

Smith attended Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Mo., and graduated in 2020 with bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and history. However, she never intended to become a Spanish teacher.

“I kind of ended up going into Spanish by accident. I really liked it in high school and took two semesters of dual credit, but I wasn’t really planning on doing anything with it other than just having the classes for electives,” Smith said. “Due to the fact that a class that I was going to take was only available at 8 a.m., I ended up signing up for Spanish 200 and I loved it, so I eventually decided to change my major to Spanish, instead of biology.”

Smith choosing to be a teacher was a tough decision, but once she had that made, Yutan was the place she wanted to be at.

She felt overwhelmed with how welcome she was before even stepping into the school. 

“One of the things that made me decide to accept the position at Yutan was I stopped at Cubby’s on the day of my interview and every person I saw smiled and said hi,” Smith said. “It was just a really good feeling.”      

Smith has a powerful connection with her students because of how close they are in age. Junior Alexa Schneider, one of Smith’s Spanish 4 students, agrees. 

“Miss Smith has completely changed my outlook on Spanish class,” Schneider said. “Before taking her class, I thought of it just as another thing to take for credits, but now I’m actually diving deeper into the language. I think this has a lot to do with how young she is. She really understands how being a student is these days.” 

Smith is passionate about the Spanish language, and she hopes this translates to her teaching.

“I seriously love Spanish so much. I think that some kids, especially my younger ones, see that and get excited too,” Smith said.

Students like freshman Jade Lewis, in Smith’s Spanish 1 class, are starting to feel much more comfortable in learning Spanish. 

“I’m still very new at learning Spanish,” Lewis said. “Before coming into Miss Smith’s class I was definitely nervous, but she has helped my classmates and I begin to feel much more confident in our learning.”