The Growth Minded Educator of May 2011 is... Chandra Boon! Congratulations! Thank you to all who participated! We received many fantastic submissions, and will reach out to some of you to discuss potential methods of incorporating your ideas and experiences into other areas of the Growth Mindset community.
With regard to our winning entry, here is what Chandra Boon answered to the contest question, "How has the Growth Mindset impacted your teaching and your students?":
“I teach Grade 11 Physics to Grade 10s at Branksome Hall, a girls’ school in Toronto. I read the book Mindset and immediately started applying the principles to make it clear to my students that I believe in their ability to develop. However, I realized that it is not enough for me to have a growth mindset. I felt compelled to teach my Physics students the mindset principles in order to help them thrive in this challenging subject, and deal with the anxiety it can induce.
Throughout the year, I have been teaching about the brain and mindset principles in class. In addition, my Physics students have worked as “mindset mentors” with Gr. 8 students who are writing exams for the first time. My Physics students are teaching them how to view this challenge as an opportunity to develop as learners and exam writers. By mentoring the younger students, the Gr. 10s really internalized the mindset principles. Students have told me that by practicing the mindset principles they feel greater enjoyment in Physics, and they no longer feel like a failure when they don’t do well on an assessment. They have shifted their focus from performance to development. One student said she realizes there is “nothing to fear, only things to discover”.
About Chandra Boon:
Chandra Boon has been teaching for 6 years, the last 3 of which have been spent teaching math, general science, and physics at Branksome Hall, an all-girls school. Chandra began teaching after earning a BSc in Physics and an MSc in Biophysics. She is passionate about interdisciplinary learning and aims to inspire a love of learning in her students by incorporating interdisciplinary connections in the classroom. It was after reading both Mindset and Self Theories by Carol Dweck that Chandra began using the mindset framework to increase students’ enjoyment of learning in math and science, specifically when faced with academic challenges. Chandra aims to help her students become powerful thinkers through a combination of improved self-awareness training and implementing a rigorous academic curriculum.