How we turned around our students’ confidence and scores


Hillsboro High School is part of the Hillsboro Independent School District in Hillsboro, Texas. It is a rural district that serves over 2,000 students on five campuses; 77 percent of the student body qualifies for free/reduced lunch.

Biggest challenge:

Our school is required to enforce a series of standardized tests every year to assess a student’s achievements and knowledge learned in the grade level. When students weren’t passing these tests, their self-confidence was diminished and it affected their willingness and effort during difficult tasks. Instead of worrying about a single test score, I wanted my students to shift their focus on their day-to-day growth.


I teach English, so I started using mini-lessons for essay writing to break down skills. My goal was to change the climate and culture in my classroom to help students feel more comfortable with trying, failing, and, most importantly, improving.…Read More