Book Review: Empower

The book “EMPOWER” by John Spencer and A.J. Juliani is all about “What happens when students own their learning”.


This was a fast-paced and easy summer read. The book focused on a mind shift in various forms:

  • Compliant to Empowered Students
  • Tourist Teacher to Engaging Teacher
  • Require to Desire
  • Providing choices to Inspiring Possibilities
  • Changing assessment from a Noun to a Verb

“Our job is not to prepare students for something; our job is to help students prepare themselves for anything”.


What I like about this book, is it’s a simple emphasis on time and what we do with it.  Re-training our mindset to allow us to use it wisely.  The essential questions are what are students doing with their time? The book is made up of various scenarios that allow a real look into the day to day life challenges of teachers and how it is manageable to bring empowerment to your students.

The authors work on debunking myths and focused on the truths.

  • Every child deserved to own their own learning, Teachers can empower student ownership of lifelong learning.
  • Every child in your class is someone else’s whole world. Empowering students transform our social/human connections.
  • Stories will always shape us, they will always help us learn. Empower students to create and share other learning stories.
  • The only thing you can prepare students for is an unpredictable world.
  • Literacy is about learning, and learning is about unlearning and relearning.
  • As teachers, we have a huge impact on our student’s lives. Empowering our students amplifies that impact.

“Our learning stories must include failing, not failure, and there is a big difference between the two”.


This is definitely worth the read.  It focuses on the practical application, not theory and some of the ideas can be implemented immediately in your classroom.  The authors did a great job of understanding the different levels of comfort that teachers come in with- and give a variety of sample ideas of lessons that can be done- even if it means you just try one thing.

“Who is the hero of your classroom story?”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s