This fall, Skillshare’s encouraging everyone to go back to school, even our own team members! We held a company-wide “Back to School” challenge through the month of September and asked everyone at Skillshare to refresh and refocus their own learning habits by taking new classes and workshops, posting projects, joining group discussions and developing skills outside of their job description. We had the best time sharing our progress with one another, and a few lucky participants won prizes for all of their hard work!

Now that the challenge is over, we asked a few Skillshare team members, like Rob Ritzenhein, Senior Software Engineer, to share a little bit about themselves and the Skillshare classes that they love. Whether you’re looking to recommit to your goals, start a new hobby, or just want to get back into the swing of learning, Rob’s picks will have you starting your back-to-school season right.

Hey! I’m Rob and I’m a Software Engineer at Skillshare. Learning, teaching and being creative may actually be in my blood; I have generations of educators and artists in my family. Working on the Skillshare user experience means I get to help people explore new passions as part of a learning community. It’s sort of like checking off all three of those boxes at once. Skillshare is a pretty special place and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it.

Rob 1.jpeg

1. Creative Leadership Toolkit: Curiosity, History and Discovery

John’s class is one of my favorites. It’s so good, I want to watch it a second and third time to really digest it. He talks about leading teams from a creative point of view, using history and discovery to understand our processes and approaches.

rob 2.jpeg

2. Street Documentary Photography: The Ongoing Moment

I’ve been photographing since I was a kid and more consistently for the last seven to eight years. Street photography is  a style that I’m really picky about: either I’m completely seduced by the work or I can’t get into it. Andre’s photographs are on the left side of that spectrum. His class is about leaving your comfort zone  and capturing the story of a person’s daily life. I tried SO hard to follow his instructions for my project: I would take a shot, and feel like I really reached, but by the time I looked at it again, I would realize just how far away I was. I’ll be carrying Andre’s advice  around for a while trying to improve…likely for years!

rob 3.jpeg

3. Making Your First Zine: Idea to Illustration

I love ‘zines. Kate pushes the idea of experimentation, learning by fault, and letting go of any preconceived notion of what it means to make something “good.” Following her process means you’ll always end up with something meaningful and interesting. The heart of this class isn’t just about making ‘zines, I’d recommend it to  anyone who struggles with the burden of the potential outcome. Plus, making tiny ‘zines is really fun!

rob 4.jpeg

4. Introduction to Modern Brush Calligraphy

Brush calligraphy is one of those activities that feels like scratching a really crazy itch: It just feels good. It’s also meditative. Kimberly has such a refined handle on her craft that watching her practice is inspirational in itself. Her examples pave a very clear path to finding the motion and positioning to produce beautiful letterforms. I often get to a point where I learn something and that’s good enough, I move on. It seems with brush calligraphy that I may be stuck on this one for a while. It’s a feel-good art.

Want more great classes this back-to-school season? To explore them all, click here.