R.E.A.L.® prepares you to blend best practices from DEI & CBL to make every voice heard, every discussion.

We offer PD for Humanities teaching teams and student support professionals
(like DEI practitioners and learning strategists).

R.E.A.L.® offers PD for teaching teams who are ready to help Gen-Z discover the power of discussion.

Choose the format that works best for you: virtual or in-person, synchronous or asynchronous, individual or team.

Want us to send you the PD menu? Let us know – we’re happy to.

R.E.A.L.® offers three paths for Professional Development.

Team, School, or Org-Wide Solution

  • Best for 4+ teachers from your school
  • Format: Combo Async / Sync
  • Time: 6 hours to 5 days
  • Notes: Tell us what you need. We'll design around your parameters
  • R.E.A.L.® Student Resources: possible to include in package.
  • Dates: We'll work around your calendar. Right now, we're booking for April - June.
  • Pricing: Depends on your vision and needs!

Online Course

  • Best for 1+ teachers from your school
  • Format: Asynchronous
  • Time: 6 hours
  • Notes: Includes 1:1 convo with consultant after course. Discount Available for Cohorts (5+ Teachers)
  • R.E.A.L.® Student Resources: Not included, but we'll give you info you need to get them.
  • Dates: This course can be done at any time, from anywhere!
  • Pricing: $250 per teacher
    $125 each if 5+ in cohort*.

    *email for cohort coupon

Virtual Seminar

  • Best for 2-3 teachers from your school
  • Format: Combo Async & Sync
  • Time: 2 days, 10am - 3pm
  • Notes: Brings together teachers from different schools. Includes ALL resources in asynchronous course.
  • R.E.A.L.® Student Resources: Not included, but we'll give you info you need to get them.
  • Dates: For full calendar, click below.
  • Pricing: $400 for two days, (includes access to all async course resources).

Curious which PD experience is the best fit?

Want to go a different direction, like booking Liza Garonzik as a speaker about Gen-Z and discussion or exploring a partnership with R.E.A.L.®?

Just let us know or join our list to stay in touch. We’re always up for a conversation!

Special Offers due to COVID-19

Given the complexities of teaching in a pandemic, participants will all receive an expanded version of the R.E.A.L.® Teacher Guide, which includes middle and high school frameworks as well as concrete strategies for adapting R.E.A.L.® for remote learning environments. We are deeply committed to helping our students connect deeply with content and classmates in the year ahead — in physical, virtual, or hyflex learning environments.

We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has undercut funding for professional development at many great schools. That said, equity is a cornerstone of R.E.A.L.® and we will do whatever we can to bring your — and your students’ — voices to the table. If you or a colleague is interested in learning R.E.A.L.® Discussion but unable to pay full price, please email Liza.

Feedback from Teachers: “Practical,” “Innovative,” and “Fun/Funny!”

Teachers have loved our in-person seminars, and we worked hard to translate the best parts online for increased flexibility. Across all formats, we’ve received feedback like:

Frequently Asked Questions

Ideally, a team of three or more teachers. It’s great if it’s an entire grade-level and even better if the group includes an administrator. Why? Because once R.E.A.L. gets into a school, people start talking about it. Thankfully, it’s usually “good press” but it’s definitely useful for someone in school leadership to have a baseline familiarity with the practice.

R.E.A.L.® is for grades 6-11, with differentiated materials for middle and high schools. It works in any class that uses texts, gives homework, and does 10+ discussions in a year. Teachers have loved using it in English, History, Humanities, Leadership Studies, Religion, Ethics, and Interdisciplinary courses. It is great for back-to-back years (e.g. R.E.A.L.® Jr. in 8th grade, R.E.A.L.® in 9th) or as a way to help teachers in different departments speak the same language (e.g. if History and English teachers are co-creating an interdisciplinary course...).

R.E.A.L.® Discussion is DEI work. It demystifies discussion so that all students understand what it takes to succeed and so teachers get feedback on their classroom climate. Research and recent social media movements have highlighted class discussion as a place where students’ familiarity -- or lack thereof -- with embedded cultural norms and relationship with the teacher often determine their success. R.E.A.L.® is an equity project, a system for naming discussion dynamics (so we can start talking about them) and making all voices heard (which makes discussion better).

Importantly, R.E.A.L.® offers DEI practitioners a concrete entry point for supporting academic teachers. How? R.E.A.L.® system expects and empowers teachers to study their class climate and students’ growth over the course of a semester (but in an easy, low-tech way -- no app-created dashboards). By aligning adults around common language and building systems for collecting and analyzing classroom-level evidence, we can make our progress visible.

And the best part? R.E.A.L.® doesn’t only make discussion more inclusive. Every single teacher who has used it also says it makes conversation more rigorous and easier to assess.

Ideally, your school will order student resources to support the roll-out of R.E.A.L.® in your course / department. Most schools just add our ISBN to the book list for relevant courses, and sell through their bookstore. R.E.A.L.® Student Resources include a portfolio that scaffolds a year’s worth of discussions and access to an online orientation (where they learn the language, and get to watch footage of other, REAL, classes -- which adolescents love!). Equipping students with these resources makes the process of implementing R.E.A.L.® student, rather than teacher, led ... which is easier and more exciting for everyone!

Students express relief at clear expectations, consistent routines, and a sense of purpose when it comes to discussion. Although students might not say they “love” their newfound growth mindsets, we count the statistic that after using R.E.A.L.® 86% of students say that “discussion is something I can get better at if I work on it” (compared to 15% pre-R.E.A.L.®) as a major victory! Teachers all report that R.E.A.L.® improves student’s analytical writing and makes discussion itself more rigorous, equitable, and easier to assess. Many comment that it’s a lot less work than other methods, that they appreciate knowing that every student will be engaged and enjoy getting to know their students better in the process.

Some students bristle at the level of structure (though most appreciate it over time, especially as they find themselves surprised by the ease and depth of the discussions). Some teachers feel it’s hard to implement or that the learning curve is too steep (which we have worked hard to address through solutions like an online, video-based orientation for students). Others wonder at the relevance of a system that relies on handwritten manuals in the age of screens (we would respectfully refer those skeptics to the research, perhaps beginning with Mueller and Oppenheimer (2014) or Morehead, Dunlosky, and Rawson (2019)).

We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has undercut funding at many great schools. That said, equity is a cornerstone of R.E.A.L.® and we will do whatever we can to bring your – and your students’ – voices to the table. If you or your team is interested in learning R.E.A.L.® Discussion but unable to pay full price, please email Liza.

Team Solution:

Custom built programs for teams of 4+ teachers.

Online Course:

4-6 hours of asynchronous content.

Cohort Discounts available (email for code)

Virtual Seminar:

A two-day experience that brings together teachers across schools.

About the instructor

Liza Garonzik developed R.E.A.L. Discussion through years teaching middle school Humanities and high school English and summers spent studying curriculum and instruction through The Klingenstein Center, Exeter Humanities Institute, and Athena. Trained as a teacher at Shady Hill School (MA), Liza holds degrees from Harvard College and Penn’s Graduate School of Education, with additional graduate work at Harvard GSE and Lesley University. She serves on the Board of Trustees at Nashoba Brooks School and the Board of Advisors at Shady Hill TTC. Wherever she is, Liza is obsessed with the question of what makes discussions great — and often drives friends crazy by analyzing conversation patterns in daily life.

Our Real Promise

It is our hope and expectation that you will find the opportunity to learn R.E.A.L. Discussion to be useful, exciting, and fun! If that is not your experience after engaging fully with the activities and resources provided, we will certainly offer a refund in exchange for thoughtful, honest feedback. 

Teach today's students the power of discussion and make every voice heard.

In the words of one R.E.A.L. teacher: 

“Is there a more important calling for our times?” 

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