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 offersReal-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; andActivities 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, Lopezoutlines 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.