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Keeping it Real and Relevant

  • Title:Keeping it Real and Relevant: Building Authentic Relationships in Your Diverse Classroom
  • Author:Ignacio Lopez
  • Publication Date:August 2017
  • ISBN:9781416624400
  • Publisher:ASCD

How can we ensure that all students, regardless of cultural background or socioeconomic status, are granted equitable opportunities to succeed in the classroom and beyond? In Keeping It Real and Relevant: Building Authentic Relationships in Your Diverse Classroom, author and veteran educator Ignacio Lopez offers hard-won lessons that educators at all levels can apply to teaching, assessing, counseling, and designing interventions for learners from all walks of life. These insights are all rooted in the same core principle: building deep and meaningful relationships with students is the key driver of their success.

In addition to examining the pivotal role of relationship-building among teachers and students in preparing the latter to perform at the highest level, this book offers:

  • Real-life examples of challenging classroom situations, each with a detailed breakdown of how they were peacefully and non-punitively resolved
  • Strategies for designing learning environments suited to the individual needs of students and reflective of their cultural backgrounds
  • Ideas for scaffolding students as they experience and internalize epiphanies about what works and what doesn't, both academically and behaviorally
  • Activities and reflection questions for use in professional development

Many teachers find balancing the needs of increasingly diverse classrooms made up of learners from increasingly diverse backgrounds to be a difficult and often thankless task—and one that takes precious time away from instructional planning. Here, Lopez outlines simple but ingenious steps for addressing these needs holistically, in a way that takes no extra time yet amply enhances the learning experience for students. Clear, practical, and much-needed, Keeping It Real and Relevant is the ultimate blueprint for creating a harmonious and successful classroom for kids of all colors, creeds, and cultures.

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Author Bio

Ignacio Lopez, EdD, is Vice Provost and Associate Professor of Education at National Louis University in Chicago. He has worked directly with more than 25 schools in Illinois, Maryland, Florida, and Texas, working directly with teachers in their classrooms and grade-level teams on capacity building, DI, student learning outcomes, and data analysis. As well, he has worked with schools to aid them in the creation of family-community-engaged environments. Lopez has presented and spoken at numerous national teacher conferences and school district events.

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