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Keeping It Real and Relevant: Building Authentic Relationships in Your Diverse Classroom


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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.

Table of contents


Designing and Leveraging an Effective Learning Environment

Reality Therapy in Diverse Classrooms

About the authors

Ignacio Lopez is Dean of the College of Professional Studies and Advancement at National Louis University in Chicago, Illinois. He's also held positions as a high school English teacher, curriculum administrator, tenured professor, assistant dean, and community college president.

Lopez has worked with more than 25 schools in Illinois, Maryland, Florida, and Texas, working directly with teachers and grade-level teams on capacity building, differentiated instruction, student learning outcomes, and data analysis. His research and energetic leadership has focused on culturally responsive teaching and school-community engagement. Lopez partners with community and education leaders to promote best practices within college programs to support the retention and success of students at the postsecondary level. Some of his professional successes include implementing teacher-leadership teams focused on evidenced-based collaborative planning and measuring the cultural relevant teaching "gaps" in a school's curriculum and pedagogical practices.

He is author of Keeping it Real and Relevant: Building Authentic Relationships in your Diverse Classroom and numerous online articles.


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