Liza Garonzik
Founder, R.E.A.L.® Discussion

Thank you to our 21-22 school and association partners! We couldn't do it without you. 



R.E.A.L.® Discussion Dashboards

We partnered with our friends at Mission & Data to develop the R.E.A.L.® Discussion Dashboard: a tool to empower teachers with mission-aligned data about class discussions. 

The R.E.A.L.® Discussion Dashboard displays responses to the R.E.A.L.® Student Survey (which students take every three discussions). It measures skill development, belonging, and sense of purpose while also capturing qualitative reflections about the discussion experience. 

Instead of just measuring who talked (and who didn't), the R.E.A.L.® Discussion Dashboard gives teachers insight into the Conversation Culture in their classroom. Students respond to prompts such as: "I feel like my classmates listen to me when I talk." "I feel comfortable disagreeing with a peer's idea." "I know I can get my voice in when I have something to say."  "I feel comfortable asking a question during discussion.

The R.E.A.L.® Discussion Dashboard is not an evaluation tool for teachers. It's for the kids, about the kids; the data catalyzes class-wide reflection, makes growth visible, and informs teachers' instructional strategies. Faculty say that it "makes my class feel like a team!"



Building School-Wide Conversation Culture:

Girls Preparatory School (TN) 

At GPS, empowering girls to use their voices is mission-critical – and has been for generations. As one faculty member said, "it's just what we do - it's why all of us teach here."

Head of School Megan Cover recognized the power of this commitment – especially in today’s world! - but wanted to develop a common language to codify, measure, and celebrate it. She wondered: What does it look like to teach discussion skills and inspire interpersonal confidence at each stage in the GPS journey? What does it look like to create a community where all voices are valued?

She and her team partnered with R.E.A.L. ® to realize these mission-aligned goals by:

  • Adopting the Conversation Lab model in grades 6-9, including certifying Humanities faculty in R.E.A.L®.: the first research-backed method for explicitly teaching and equitably assessing live conversation skills.

  • Training the full faculty and staff in R.E.A.L.® Skills for Life to build common language and facilitate skill transfer into STEM, advisory, extracurriculars.

  • Hosting R.E.A.L.® for a Parents' Evening, sharing programmatic impact and tips for building Conversation Culture at home.

The best part? Already, girls are reporting increased confidence, purpose, and skill-development. Faculty are excited by the growth they’ve seen – click to hear from Andy, a 9th grade English teacher – and proud to be defining what it means to teach human skills in a tech-centric world. 


 Norming Discussion in 

Middle + Upper School:

Penn Charter (PA)

I had been searching for a common language for my Department to use to articulate Discussion standards across the middle and high school divisions -- an initiative that felt urgent after COVID and aligned to recent all-school DEI efforts. R.E.A.L.®'s emphasis on authentic feedback also complemented Penn Charter's values as a Friends (Quaker) school.

Penn Charter envisions R.E.A.L.® Discussion as a shared foundation for student conversation. The school's goal is to deploy R.E.A.L.® across 8th and 9th grade English - where faculty describe it as "transformational already!" -- but to certify the full English Department as R.E.A.L.® practitioners.

Nora has been taking it a step at a time, training more faculty every chance she has. This is budget-friendly and authentic – rather than the whole Department doing a one-and-done training, it becomes an ongoing source of conversation and reflection.

She says: “This has created a shared language for the whole department and is informing conversations about not just discussion, but assessment and curriculum design as well.”

We are excited for what’s ahead for Penn Charter – and inspired by Nora’s vision to make it happen!


Feeling inspired and want to learn more?