These paintings and photographs represent some of the artistic output of JP. They were requested for viewing at a recent career day by Gabby (student) at Rio del Valle Middle School.

PHI Four Fun Floating Threesome Love Formula tumblr_mj7mi7gZgX1s7slcdo4_500 tumblr_mj7mi7gZgX1s7slcdo5_500 tumblr_mj7mi7gZgX1s7slcdo6_500


Here are some words we have been using and th8inking about lately:

World Class

Ranking among the foremost in the world; of an international standard of excellence; of the highest order: a world-class figure skater.

Great, as in importance, concern, or notoriety.

Professionals Developing…not Professional Development

Professional teachers.. usually means workshops, or one time events, sometimes a series of events intended to show teachers how to do something they are not already doing or something someone else thinks they need to be doing. Its seen as a noun.

When we think about Professionals Developing (thanks Dr. Yeager) we are thinking about a process.. or verb….. that hopefully is more reflective than sausage making.

Sausage making

Meaning making


The Leader’s Guide to 21st century Education

Teachers Matter in This World


All over the world, teachers matter to children, to learners of all ages, to society, to the evolution of the human species.

All over the world, teachers matter in the little things they do and the big things they do. They make a difference by being an important person in the life of the learner. If they are doing it right, they foster resiliency characteristics. This is important, because in many ways, this is a challenging, traumatizing, and difficult world to navigate, and resiliency research suggests that even among the most traumatized, 70% are able to go on to live normalized lives. Teachers help make that happen.

My wife Sarah, is one of those teachers. She brings her whole self to the job and to each child that is fortunate to be in her class. She brings her intellect, her art, her creativity, her love of children and humanity, her stick-with-it-ness (and she has needed this these past three decades), and her drive to develop as a teacher and human being. She knows this practice is never done… and that she rarely gets to observe the long fruits of her labor. Though from time to time… either in person, on the phone, or via the Internet, her students from the past will contact her and tell her what she has meant to them in their lives.. Just one school year can truly be a game changer… a life changer… a spark plug.

All over the world, the human race fosters its best selves through great teachers. Great new teachers…full of hope and idealism, youth and energy and great experienced teachers who have chosen a path.. a seasoned path to wisdom, excellence, and longitudinal achievement.

I say BRAVO to all teachers and to the power of teaching in any and all forms…as teachers in schools, as parents, as coaches, and in myriad forms…This is life giving back to life…

Happy Week of the Teacher and Happy Day of the Teacher.

VCSTEAMN Colloquium # 2…..Materials


The Ventura County Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts,Mathematics Network (VCSTEAMN) is bringing our second Colloquium to our community of Educators.

Our first Symmetry Colloquium was great….

Our 2nd colloquium will be all about MATERIALS….


and will be held on May 29, 2013…a Wednesday from 4:30 to 6:30 pm.


Check out this great list of links that are developing..we hope to see you there….

Materials Colloquium links                                                                           4.23.2013

VCSTEAMN (Ventura County Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math Network)

Materials Science and Engineering

Materials Science… Chemistry for Life

Materials Science and Engineering

Strange Matter

Materials Classroom

Materials Videos, Games, Simulations and more

Top 100 Materials Scientists

Materials Science Fair Projects

Tensile Test Experiments

Virtual Museum of Minerals and Molecules

The Future of Materials Science

Materials and Technology

Common Molecules

Materials, Technology, and Sports

Smart Materials

Wild Materials

Materials and Art

Extraordinary Art from Ordinary Objects

Understanding Materials in Primary Art Teaching

Earth Day 2013

Today, April 22, 2013 is the official Earth Day.

The first Earth Day has its origins in nearby Santa Barbara. Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, inspired by the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California and other events of the late sixties, worked to  push environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Senator Nelson along with Pete McCloskey, Congressman, and Denis Hayes, national coordinator,  built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land.

As a result, on the 22nd of April, 20 million Americans put on events to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Earth Day 1970 led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

Here, in our neck of the woods, and in our school District, I encourage all our educators to be sure to honor this day and to integrate learning about the planet Earth (science, math, literature, reading, social studies, history…) into everyday lessons that extend far and beyond this one day of awareness. Along these lines, our developing River Project is intended to do just that.

Buckminster Fuller gave us all the most apt metaphor for understanding our place in time and space when he spoke of our planet as Spaceship Earth. It is clearly our charge as educators and stewards of the planet and next generation to keep environmental and whole systems ideas in mind as we interact with our youth; the next stewards of the planet.

21st Century Education

In keeping with our aim to provide a 21st Century Education for our students, the Rio School District recently became part of a world class network of forward thinking school Districts. The group is called Edleader21 and we are excited to join and contribute to the network and look forward to learning from our colleagues.


Rivers and Puddles

Since coming to the Rio School District in July 2012, I have been thinking about the “River” as a metaphor for a modern organization. This paper on Rivers and Puddles captures an important need for 21st Century organizations to be addressing Kaizen in ways of being and doing.

I thought it was pretty good.

Great Local Educator; Bonnie Walters


Recently, the Ventura County Star published an article highlighting a great local educator; Bonnie Walters.

Bonnie now works at the California Oil Museum in Santa Paula and is doing great work making science come alive for students, teachers, and learners of all ages.

In past years, it was my fortune to work with her as a parent volunteer and NASA ambassador. Ms. Walters worked in many areas to bring hands on and minds on science to students and teachers and community.

She’s a great example of a community member, natural teacher, and highly intelligent and energetic contributor to a community of learners.

Partnerships with folks like Bonnie help to connect professional teachers and schools with resources and perspectives that reach beyond the walls and halls of the school and classroom. At Rio we have already begun to take advantage of new partnerships with the California Oil Museum. and with the fine work of Ms.Walters.                Bravo Bonnie!

math minds and math learning leaders 2013




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Improving math education and math learning for students has been a major focus of my work in the past ten years. Among current influences on the path math education should be going are the following math minds and math learning leaders of 2013. Check them out.

Arthur Benjamin

Conrad Wolfram

Keith Devlin

Vi Hart