• JP partners with schools and districts across the country to provide intensive professional development for scientifically-based programs.

  • JP brings together several critical factors in the development of an effective school.

  • JP Associates offers our sites grant writing assistance. Take advantage of our experience writing successful grant requests.

  • JP works with schools providing training on how to ameliorate teacher weaknesses brought to light through the process of teacher evaluation.

  • Common Core State Standards, Factors Influencing Student Achievement, Responsive Coaching, Teacher Evaluation, Autism
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Image result for Using Skype in the classroom

It’s now easier than ever to “flatten your classroom walls” and learn from and with anyone, anywhere.

Your class can connect with students who live on the other side of town, or the other side of the world. “Experts” can become virtual volunteers to offer students new insights and perspectives.

A great way to start connecting with others is through blog posts and comments.

To take the connection a step further and really enhance the relationship, the next step tends to naturally involve Skype (or similar video conferencing tools).

Personally, I have always loved using Skype in my classroom and I have never met a student who didn’t get something out of the experience. In fact, after a Skype session, students generally beg for more!

Being able to see and hear others just seems to spark a natural sense of curiosity and engagement.

When I first began using Skype in my classroom, it was with “blogging buddies” who I’d already found a connection with. These days, you don’t even need to have a pre-established connection!

Want to know more?

I’ve invited one of my long-term blogging buddies, Julie Hembree, to tell us more about Microsoft’s Skype in the Classroom. Her involvement with this resource is inspiring! 

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23 top-rated websites for teachers and librarians

teachers librarians

AASL's list of best websites is unveiled during TCEA 2018

Do you want to create a game to help students learn a new concept? Are you looking for free pictures and videos for students to use in digital presentations? You’re in luck: Websites for educational game creation, copyright-free images and videos, and video-based quizzes are among the American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) top websites for teaching and learning.

During a packed 400-person session at TCEA, Shannon McClintock Miller, a consultant and former district teacher librarian at Van Meter Community School District in Iowa, presented the list of 23 sites. The sites offer resources for media sharing, digital storytelling, social networking, management and organization, content resources, and curriculum collaboration.

To make it on AASL’s list, Miller said, a website has to have an education component, must be for K-12 use, and has to offer a free version.

The list is organized by category.

Media sharing

1. Elink.io offers a way to curate and share links in a newsletter or list. Users choose a template, add links, and share as a webpage, newsletter, or embed in a website. Miller said the site is appropriate for grades 6-12; teachers can use it to gather links on digital makerspaces for students before they visit the school library, for example. Teachers also might use it to share links in a newsletter to peer educators.

2. Screencast-o-matic helps users create how-to or flipped lesson videos for libraries or classrooms, and it is free for up to 15 minutes of recording time.

3. My Simpleshow is a great resource for tough-to-describe concepts in math and science, Miller said. Teachers and students can create explanatory videos by writing a short script, choosing images or animations, and letting the site take it from there.

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Complacency is the Enemy!

RL Fight Complacency

Tell Employees What You Want Them to Strive for (in as Few Words as Possible)

Leadership is leadership--in a company like Microsoft or in your school. The ability to provide a clear, concise message to your staff is an essential leadership skill. It applies to something as broad as a mission statement to informational memos to teacher feedback.  JP Leadership Development provides strategies that help!


When Joe Whittinghill came into his role as general manager for talent, learning, and insight at Microsoft, the tech giant’s leadership model was characteristically thorough. There were eight competencies leaders needed to succeed, 10 behaviors that marked inclusive diversity, five things employees had to do in order to flourish, and over 100 skills you needed to train on, depending on your profession. These components “were not memorable,” Whittinghill said. “They were exhaustive.”

As part of Microsoft’s cultural refresh, Whittinghill — along with CEO Satya Nadella and chief people officer Kathleen Hogan — partnered with us at the NeuroLeadership Institute to revisit Microsoft’s leadership principles. After about a year of thinking things through, we went from over 100 competencies to three big ideas: Create clarity, generate energy, deliver success.

This is what you might call a radical departure, especially for a company that put a personal computer on every desk through painstaking thoroughness. “There is a dramatic leap of faith needed to agree that you don’t need to be complex to be complete,” Whittinghill says.

Today those leadership principles, which premiered in mid-2016, have spread across the company. “Clarity,” “energy,” and “success” have become part of the way Microsoft talks to itself about itself.

For anyone interested in developing leadership — in themselves, in their companies — it’s a huge lesson. Whether you’re in talent management, human capital, or learning design, it’s crucial to understand that for employees to make the most of any sort of internal branding, leadership principles, cultural values, company strategies, and the like have to be designed with the brain in mind.

  • If principles are going to be used, they have to be easy to remember
  • But becoming easy to remember is hard to do
  • Why pithy principles can better guide decisions


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Responding to Disruptive Students

Negative attention doesn’t help difficult students change their ways, but teachers can alter classroom dynamics through this exercise.

Negative attention, or punitive communication, is a common, unconscious habit of defense when a familiar environment feels unsafe or unmanageable. Educators may turn to it instinctively when they feel frustrated because they see their work being disrupted. But difficult students don’t benefit from being punished.

Generally, guidance about challenging behavior at school targets the challenging students. I’d like to break this unidirectional point of view and approach the topic by looking at the educator. I want educators to feel physically and emotionally safe in class always. And I want empathic educators who are confident and prepared for their response toward challenging behavior—their own included.

“Behavior is communication. Behavior has a function. Behavior occurs in patterns,” Nancy Rappaport and Jessica Minahan write in The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students.

Unfortunately, the same is true of negative attention. Negative attention communicates that an educator doesn’t know any other language to access the relationship with a student. Negative attention’s function is self-protective and unconsciously anti-inclusive. Negative attention’s pattern sounds loud and looks clumsy.

“The only behavior teachers can control is their own,” Rappaport and Minahan advise. What follows is an idea that can help teachers change their responses to challenging, disruptive behavior.


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