Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Get Started. Get Better.

At WJHS, we have a saying, "Get started.  Get better."

If you wait for the perfect system, the perfect idea, the perfect lesson/unit, etc. you'll never move forward.

Take your best shot then learn from failures and setbacks.

Get started.  Get better.

Tim Sparacino, Principal
Washington Jr. High School

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Thankful Principal

I love Thanksgiving!

It is one of the greatest holidays.

You’ve got the food without the shopping.

You’ve got time to be with family.

It is quite simply…GREAT!

I wanted to share with the WJHS faculty some of the things that I appreciate about them as Thanksgiving approaches.

I’m thankful for…

-A staff (certified and classified) that work together to do what’s best for our students.

-A staff that demonstrates a love for students on a daily basis through their patience, their concern, and a desire to do their best every day.

-Your commitment to our CORE values.
               Your willingness to collaborate.
               Your willingness to observe, to be observed, and otherwise grow professionally.
               Your skill at developing positive relationships.
               The high expectations that you have for yourself and our students.

-Our positive culture and the way that we support each other like a family should.

-Your school spirit!
Giving up your personal time so that our students see you supporting them at extracurricular events.
Dressing up.
Acting silly, dancing, or even doing back flips so that our kids see us as real people. J

-Your willingness to give new ideas not only consideration, but a chance to succeed.

-Your ability to provide honest feedback and engage in conversations about topics that we might not all agree on at the moment.

I could go on and on but I’ll conclude by saying thank you most of all for helping to create a great school!

Tim Sparacino, Principal

Friday, October 16, 2015

Master Teachers at WJHS

I added What Makes a Master Teacher into our FlipBoard magazine WJHS Learns this morning.

To me, the author (@gcouros) is describing a WJHS teacher.  J

Happy Friday!

Tim Sparacino, Principal
Washington Jr. High School

What makes a master teacher

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

WJHS Learns: Using Flipboard to Enhance Your PLN

This morning’s voluntary learning session was a quick overview of how Flipboard can enhance your personal learning network.

WJHS Learns is a Flipboard magazine that I’ve created for WJHS staff members that want/need the fastest, easiest way to “connect.”

Simply click the link and read.

What you’ll find are articles that I thought might be interesting and/or be conversation starters.

One of the cool things about Flipboard magazines is that you can have multiple contributors (a group of students, a PLC, a department, a faculty, etc.).

So, if you’re a Flipboard user and want to be a contributor to WJHS Learns, let me know and I’ll give you access to add articles to the magazine.

If you’re not a Flipboard user, I would encourage you to give it a quick test drive.

Not all tools are for everybody but if you’re looking for a quick way to find information related to teaching, education, pedagogy, professional development, etc., it couldn’t be any easier than Flipboard makes it.

Tim Sparacino, Principal
Washington Jr. High School

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Our First Learning Walk of 2015-16

Our first Learning Walk of the Year was a big success and a lot of fun!

Learning Walks are a component of our Teachers Visiting Teachers program at WJHS.

I was joined by Janan Foster, Ashley Jones, Betty Pollreis, and Leigh Ann Sandlin.

Our group visited the following teacher's rooms:

  • Dave Rau
  • Scott Terrell
  • Brittany Nelson
  • Sarah Luhtanen
  • Deb Hight and Kandi Cowart
  • Bentley Fisher

We saw several examples of teachers creating experiences with real-world applications for students, engaging instructional techniques, technology integration, and evidence of relationship building.

As you can see from this tweet, we were also pleased to be greeted by a display outside of Mr. Fisher's room.  Mr. Fisher had taken a cue from the recent #bpseduchat with guest host AJ Juliani and had sought student feedback on what would happen if students were allowed to pick their teacher, investigate topics that they wanted to pursue, etc.

It was a great opportunity for the Learning Walk group to read some of the student responses and reflect on the wisdom that they shared especially about the importance of the relationship between the student and the teacher.

As always, it was great to get into WJHS classrooms and witness the incredible teaching taking place and observe firsthand the amazing talent and intellect of our students.

Go Wildcats!

Tim Sparacino, Principal
Washington Jr. High School

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Amazing Start

Thank you to our faculty, staff, and PTO for an amazing start to the school year. 

I asked as many kids as I could yesterday how their first week was. 

What I heard in response was:

It was great!

I love Washington!

As we move forward, remember to keep the main thing, the main thing- developing Wildcats!

(Wildcats are Welcoming, Involved, Leading, Dependable, Cooperative, Ambitious, Teachable, and Serving.)

Students before standards. 

Relationships, relationships, relationships. 

It IS going to be another great year at WJHS. 

(Because of you.)

Tim Sparacino, Principal