Indian Trail’s Heidi Kane helping students overcome uneasiness of math
It wasn’t too long ago that Indian Trail 6th grade math teacher Heidi Kane sat in her students’ seats, dead set on not giving math a chance. Now, Kane helps confront those same fears with her students.
“I think back to high school and I wasn’t really great at math,” said Kane, who was recently named Johnson City Schools’ Teacher of the Year for grades 5-8. “Now that I teach it, I want kids to not have a negative perspective or attitude about it. I want them to see that they can do it and I want them to break down those walls.
“Before they give up, I just want them to give it a chance. And I think that I have changed a few minds.”
The smiles in her classroom are a good indication that she has; and the praise from her principal is another indication of her strong connection with her students.
“Heidi Kane is an amazing educator and an amazing person,” Indian Trail Principal Dr. James Jacobs said. “She is widely recognized as a leader by her peers and she connects with the students in her classroom on a personal level. She works hard to make sure her kids are learning and bringing their best every day.”
Kane has been in the classroom for 21 years, all with sixth grade. She spent 16 years in Washington County before spending her last five at Indian Trail and she said there is no place she’d rather be.
“I love sixth grade,” Kane said through a smile. “I think they’re mature enough to handle themselves and still get excited about academics.”
Kane also gets excited about academics and she was humbled to even be nominated for the honor of teacher of the year. Finding out that she won, spawned a little bit more emotion.
“It’s incredibly humbling,” Kane said. “I am in such great company every single day with my teammates, my hall-mates and everyone in my school. The faculty and administration are just amazing and to think that they think that highly of me, it really made me cry.”
That bond between teachers contributes to Indian Trail being a special place for students. While some parents get anxious about making the jump from their elementary school to Indian Trail, educators like Kane seem to calm those concerns.
“We are sort of a little tiny school within a school,” said Kane about her team on Bear Hall #1. “Because we go everywhere with them, we transition with them, so they aren’t going anywhere by themselves to find things and it really helps develop a sense of community.”
That community is created with caring teachers like Kane, who almost didn’t find her spot at the head of the classroom because she thought she wanted to be an attorney.
“I thought the world already has enough attorneys,” she said, “maybe they could use a teacher who was really excited about teaching kids and who cared about the experience they have in their education.”