“R.E.A.L.® has made me more confident. I have skills for discussion in class but honestly these feel like life skills, like for jobs and relationships.” 9th grade student

Teachers can’t stop talking about R.E.A.L.!

“R.E.A.L. is a shared language for my team…”

I had been searching for a common language for my Department to use to articulate Discussion standards across middle and high school — which felt urgent after COVID and aligned to all-school DEI efforts. R.E.A.L.®’s emphasis on authentic feedback complemented Penn Charter’s values as a Friends (Quaker) school. Ultimately, R.E.A.L.® has created a shared language for us as a team – and is informing conversations about assessment and curriculum design as well!
Nora Landon
English Department Chair, William Penn Charter School (PA)

Middle Schoolers say R.E.A.L. decreases anxiety and increases confidence.

“In a Chat GPT World, R.E.A.L. documents deeply human processes.”

In a ChatGPT world, R.E.A.L.® has given us a framework to document and celebrate the deeply human processes of idea generation, oral engagement, and writing that builds directly on class discussion. This is, of course, where we have always wanted to be: at the opening of young minds.
Jim Moore
English Department Chair, Blair Academy (NJ)

“REAL PD Feels like a Luxury.”

This ongoing PD feels like a luxury. I’m a
department chair and so support everyone;
to have someone supporting me in my
teaching practice is rejuvenating.

I first tried R.E.A.L.® with 10th graders, some of whom were already very fluent discussion participants, and I worried that they would think it was hokey and artificial. But the other half of the class was routinely silent. And so I remember my amazement and joy during our first R.E.A.L® discussion, as I walked around listening and every student was talking. Every student. And all quoting from the text. And all connecting their ideas to things their classmates had said. And pausing to write things down. All while I said nothing. I was hooked.
Erika Drezner
Department Chair, Berkeley Carroll (NY) and Director of Klingenstein Summer Institute

High Schoolers use R.E.A.L. to build trust and disagree respectfully.

“Excellent, Rigorous, Research-Informed!”

R.E.A.L. is an excellent, rigorous, research-informed program. I can see why it works!👏
Peter Nilsson
Editor, The Educators’ Notebook and Former Head of School, King’s Academy (JO)

“Already seeing a transformation”

R.E.A.L.® PD was superbly organized, exceptionally clear, and thoroughly engaging, with laughter in the midst of deeply thoughtful points. Great blend of research and practical takeaways. Moreover, the support has continued into the year, with materials, guidance, and PLC. We are already seeing a transformation in classes where we’ve implemented R.E.A.L.®.
Sumner McCallie
Dean of Faculty and Curriculum, McCallie School (TN),

“Democratizing the classroom in a beautiful way”

Pam, Upper School History

“I know my students – and they know each other – so much better”

Kay & Liz, Upper School Religion

“Empowering educators to create inclusive learning spaces”

In the ever-evolving educational landscape, cultivating an environment where students’ voices are heard, and their individuality is celebrated is paramount. Enter R.E.A.L. Discussion! In Liza’s workshops for TAIS, our educators explored how differentiation, coupled with accountability, empowers them to tailor their approach, accommodate diverse learning needs, and cultivate an inclusive learning space. The feedback from her sessions has been overwhelmingly positive! I highly recommend Liza and R.E.A.L. Discussions. You will not be disappointed.” Kristina Kalb, TAIS Associate Director
Kristina Kalb
TAIS Associate Director

“Empathy, respect, and kindness in conversation”

At Shady Hill, we value real discussions about real issues — and R.E.A.L. workshops equip adults and students alike with tools to have them. Liza facilitates a learning experience for our apprentice-teachers that models culturally responsive pedagogy, encourages introspection, and inspires teacher-leaders to amplify student voices. Now, more than ever, we need frameworks for empathy, respect, and kindness in conversation, especially when we disagree.
Desiree Ivey
Executive Director, Shady Hill Teacher Training Center

Case Studies

Real Schools, Real Impact

“Game-changer for communication and community in my class”

Linda, Upper School History

“Creating more empathetic, compassionate, and confident F2F communicators”

Jake, Middle School Humanities

“Breaking the mystery of discussion into teachable, learnable skills”

Patrick, Middle School Humanities

“REAL helps students define engagement – with each other and with our texts”

Cally, Upper School English