Published by Corwin Press in May, 2008, Eight Essentials for Empowered Teaching and Learning, K-8 presents a set of eight integrated principles that comprise an overall approach to organizing and managing classrooms. Inspirational and practical, this book focuses on the quality of teaching and learning in elementary and middle school classrooms and helps teachers and students find more joy, satisfaction, and meaning in their work.

Experienced teacher Steve Reifman defines a quality classroom in reader-friendly terms, explains how to measure quality, and covers the conditions under which all students are empowered to reach their full potential. The author synthesizes key concepts from the fields of education, psychology, management, and personal growth to arrive at the eight essential elements of teaching, including realistic goal setting, assessment-oriented instruction, parent involvement, and teacher leadership. Written in a personal, engaging voice and drawing upon the work of experts such as Stephen Covey, Howard Gardner, Ted Sizer, William Glasser, Carol Ann Tomlinson, Alfie Kohn, and Alan Blankstein, this resource:

  • • Promotes student motivation and a classroom environment of trust and respect
  • • Builds higher-level thinking and group problem solving into the curriculum
  • • Presents classroom applications, examples, anecdotes, and reproducible pages
  • • Features ideas from practicing teachers for putting these essential ideas to work in the classroom

Eight Essentials for Empowered Teaching and Learning, K–8 motivates student teachers, beginning teachers, and veteran educators to become the most effective instructors they can be and achieve the best learning outcomes possible for their students.


The book has many fine qualities—chief among them is a very desirable structure for helping teachers organize and maintain classrooms in which students are likely to flourish. This book goes a long way toward helping teachers acquire that competence." - C.M. Charles, Professor Emeritus, San Diego State University

"Takes Gardner, Covey, Tomlinson, and wraps them all together in an approach that I find very motivating." - Karen Kersey, Second-Grade Teacher, Albans Elementary, St. Albans, WV

"Contains information that is vitally important for the success of any classroom." - Julie Duford, Fifth-Grade Teacher, Polson Middle School, MT

"Gives us a format that we can develop into a philosophy or goal for our classrooms so our students become enthusiastic about learning. I could barely put this book down until I finished it. In fact, I am recommending it to my principal." - Debbie Halcomb, Fourth-Grade Teacher, Robert W. Combs Elementary, Cornettsville, KY