JagsWired: Lending a Voice

Traniece Brown-WarrensBlog, Connect Better, Engage Better, Innovate Better


  • Students are looking for connection, peer validation, and a sense of belongingness.
  • This post shares the inspiration behind the creation of a campus podcast. Students and staff are invited to share their voice and their stories.

JagsWired: Lending a Voice

When I tell people I am a middle school assistant principal I am given the same sad puppy dog look. Then they say “Oh, I know you have a hard job…being in middle school was the worst for me.”

I normally look back at them and say, “I absolutely love middle school! This is my opportunity to reach students in the middle and give them tools to walk out their GREATNESS.”

Then that person stares back at me and says, “Well, the kids do you need you.”

Interactions like these make me more passionate about the opportunities I have as an assistant principal.

One of the greatest opportunities I have is handling social media drama.

Now before you laugh or roll eyes at my claim, hear me out. As a culturally responsive school leader, I see each of these interactions as an open door into my students’ worlds.

The theme I have found from each social media interaction has been students are looking for connection, peer validation, and a sense of belongingness. Click To Tweet

My change of perspective has allowed me to critically think about the antecedent for students’ social media behaviors.

The theme I have found from each social media interaction has been students are looking for connection, peer validation, and a sense of belongingness.

The reality is our students are living in a world where they are becoming TikTok famous for stealing items from the school.

Do you remember the devious licks challenge? Let’s not forget how quickly students pull out their cell phones to record a fight. The instant gratification of a like and share causes students not to stop and think and makes them want to feel included.

This reality has made me as an assistant principal stop, think, and consider creative ways for students to be seen and heard on campus that give them the same level of instant gratification as social media.

With the words connection, validation, and sense of belonging written on my whiteboard, I tried to find an idea that would include each of these elements.

After much thought, I landed on the idea of creating a campus podcast called JagsWired. In true Traniece form, I wanted students and staff to have the true experience of being a studio. So I went on Amazon and bought two microphones. With the help of my colleague friend Mrs. Ventura, we transformed a piece of her room into the JagsWired studio.

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JagsWired is a podcast created to lend a voice to students and staff through the art of storytelling.

Students and staff will have an opportunity to come on the show and answer one of these three questions:

  1. What is your most memorable moment in school?
  2. What is a moment when a person’s kindness made a difference in your life?
  3. Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lesson did that person, or people, teach you?

Before signing off I ask the guest speaker what is one thing we should know about them that we don’t already know? Students are then encouraged to click on our Padlet and share how they connected with the guest speaker.

JagsWired: Lending a Voice

The ultimate goal for JagsWired is to have a different guest on show daily based. 6th grade will be Monday, 7th grade will be Tuesday, 8th grade will be Wednesday, and a staff member will be on Thursday. Each show will be no longer than 3 minutes long.

The JagsWired podcast is still new but I am excited to have students and staff on the show to share their stories and see connections being made on our campus. JagsWired podcast is powered by Anchor.

About Traniece Brown-Warrens

Traniece is a middle school assistant principal in Portland, OR. She is a culturally responsive leader who is a champion for culturally responsive campuses that honor and accept students, empower voices students, help students to critically think, and build the skills they need to defy the odds and achieve their dreams.

She also has the unique ability to build positive relationships with teachers and students that helps to move the academic needle. When she is not working as an AP you can find her coaching football and basketball, serving as the Events Chair for Oregon Alliance of Black School Educators, working as a Director for the Oregon Educator Advancement Council to impact educational policy and is pursuing her doctorate at Baylor University.