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Lorena
Educational Author
Anti-racist & Antibias Educator
Travels from: Lawrence, MA

“Lorena and Roberto Germán are one of the most dynamic speakers of the 21st century by weaving art, history, and culture into a call of action. Their keynote at the Montessori for Social Justice Conference was everything. I have only wanted to listen to one other keynote speaker and that was Bryan Stevenson. But once this dynamic and loving duo started, I was glued to my seat. Their powerful message urged each of us to find our joy as a means of resistance and radical healing.” —Britt Hawthorne, Anti-Racist Anti-Bias Guide

Lorena is an immigrant from Dominican Republic and raised in the U.S. She attended public schooling from first grade through high school. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in English Communication from Emmanuel College and her Master of Arts in English from Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English. She is an advocate for the practice of a culturally sustaining pedagogical approach in education.

Lorena has been in the field of education, working in various settings, since 2001. Her extensive experience in myriad of settings ranging from extracurricular youth work to community spaces to the traditional classroom equips her to offer sound advice on strong teaching practices. Specifically, her classroom experience has been as an ELA teacher from grades 6th through 12th.

Lorena has held educational leadership positions at the department level, school-wide level, and in the larger district level from designing curriculum to strategizing for improvement. She is the Chair of the National Council of English Teacher’s Committee Against Racism and Bias in the Teaching of English and she’s a co-founder of #DisruptTexts. She’s also Director of Pedagogy at EduColor.

Textured Teaching: A Framework for Culturally Sustaining Practices

Heinemann Educational Books |
Nonfiction

“Be prepared to be embraced with words, images, stories, examples, experiences, and a love for teaching in community with young people toward social and cultural justice.”-Django Paris

As middle and high school teachers, we know that students begin to develop racial identities and ideologies as early as preschool. By the time they reach us, there is much socializing and learning that needs to be undone. Textured Teaching is a way to seamlessly embed the social justice work that is needed to undo; to begin to make things right.

With Culturally Sustaining Practice as its foundation, Textured Teaching helps secondary teachers in any school setting stop wondering and guessing how to implement teaching and learning that leads to social justice. Lorena shares her framework for creating a classroom environment that is highly rigorous and engaging, and that reflects the core traits of Textured Teaching: student-driven, community centered, interdisciplinary, experiential, and flexible. Throughout the book, Lorena shares lesson design strategies that build traditional literacy skills while supporting students in developing their social justice skills at the same time. The actionable strategies Lorena uses to bring Textured Teaching values to life illuminate what is possible when we welcome all types of texts, all types of voices, and all forms of expression into the classroom.

Teaching for Justice

Keynote

Understanding of the state of U.S. education today is necessary and must be done by considering the history of our schools. Once that is clear, only then can we move into solutions. There are so many opportunities for how to solve major problems in U.S. education, and Lorena offers a culturally sustaining solution through Textured Teaching ©.

Learning objectives:

  • Identify historical context for modern problems in education
  • Analyze potential solutions for problems in education
  • Study and explore the framework of Textured Teaching©

Textured Teaching for These Times

Professional Development

Developing literacy skills should involve developing character. The two are not mutually exclusive and this notion of a “neutral” education hasn’t worked for us as a nation. It’s time we boldly stand for truth and narrow our skills so that students can engage others responsibly and humanely. Literature and classrooms are a great avenue for this study! Let us ask ourselves: how can I make sure this content is engaging and relevant to their lives? How can I make sure this content helps them see the humanity in others? How can I make sure this content helps them make sense of the world around them? In this session, participants will gain a clear context for why teaching about these issues matters, they’ll gain skills for how to do it, and learn about strategies they can implement immediately.

Takeaways from this session will include:

  • Discuss culturally sustaining pedagogies and why it matters
  • Analyze literacy practices and evaluate their choices
  • Practice planning using a Textured Teaching approach
  • Build knowledge and community around standing with love

Becoming an Anti Racist Teacher: From Theory to Practice

Professional Development

Racism is a difficult topic to delve into and even harder to overcome within ourselves. However, with a clear understanding of the problem comes targeted solutions. Through an analysis of the way racism exists in our socialization and thinking, we can begin to search for how it is present in schools. Then, we can build counter activities and strategies. Lorena has designed frameworks  to make this accessible and achievable.

Learning objectives:

  • Understand the ideas and theories of race and racism
  • Learn to unearth and see the role and presence of racism in classrooms today
  • Develop a short & long term plan for forward movement

Becoming an Anti Racist Teacher: Focusing on Multilingual Learners

Professional Development

Racism is a difficult topic to delve into and even harder to overcome within ourselves. However, with a clear understanding of the problem comes targeted solutions. Through an analysis of the way racism exists in our socialization and thinking, we can begin to search for how it is present in schools. Specifically, it’s critical to analyze how it is embedded in the way we teach and promote language acquisition for multilingual learners, particularly those from Spanish speaking Latin American countries. Lorena is a former English learner turned English teacher of ELLs, then English literature teacher, and earned her Master’s degree in the field, and this lived experience informs her ideas and position. She pairs this with research based ideas in order to offer concrete solutions to fighting racism in curriculum and teaching practices. Through practical strategies, ready for implementation, Lorena offers frameworks to make this work possible.

Learning objectives:

  • Understand the ideas and theories of race and racism
  • Learn to unearth and see the role and presence of racism in classrooms today
  • Find ways it specifically shows up in Language Acquisition classrooms
  • Develop a short & long term plan for forward movement

Professional Development Full Day Workshop

In this full day workshop, Lorena Germán will demonstrate how anti racist and anti bias teaching are not simply conceptual. They are also praxis; how you teach your subject matter, how you design learning experiences, how you relate with students, how you move about in your institution, and more. It is through these practices that we work on healing as an outcome of education as well as rehumanizing what happens in our institutions and four walls.

A non-responsive curriculum and its corresponding instruction are no longer viable. Focusing on student motivation isn’t enough to curtail chronic absenteeism, misbehavior, or disengagement. We need an innovative approach, which Germán offers in Textured Teaching. Grounded in culturally sustaining pedagogies (Alim, Paris 2017), Textured Teaching is an embodiment of this pedagogy for increased engagement, a striving toward justice, and acute skill-building. Participants will:

  • Understand and name the four traits of Textured Teaching
  • Identify practices they can implement immediately to bring back a culturally sustaining pedagogy
  • Workshop ideas for what to do in their classrooms, schools, and roles

Through this workshop, participants will be able to move from theory into action and see sample lessons and units they can build their own ideas upon. There is too much at stake for us educators to be inactive in response to what we, students included, are facing. In this workshop, participants will be both encouraged and equipped to support students with skill building all while working toward making our nation a better place.

Workshops for Youth

Leaders in Training 

This 45 min-1 hour is for young people who are aspiring leaders and change-makers. I share my story with activism and change making and offer tips and advice for how to endure in the face of challenges.

What Is School to Me?

In this class workshop for all ages, students will discuss the importance of education, trace their own journey in education (as appropriate) and develop an affirmation to achieve their goals. By the end, students will have a better sense of who they are as students, who they want to be, and more importantly, the truths that will get them there.

Multicultural Classroom Books & Curriculum

Multicultural Classroom Podcast

Multicultural Classroom Blog

Multicultural Classroom Courses

Professional Development

Honors, Awards & Recognition

Multicultural Classroom | Cofounder & Academic Director
National Council of Teachers of English | Latinx Caucus Excelencia in Teaching Scholarship
National Council of Teachers of English | Early Career Educator of Color Leadership Award

Media Kit

By clicking the link below you will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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