Matthew Sloane

Chief Content Creator



Teach Like My Mom: Facilitation for New Skillshare Teachers


  • Teach Like My Mom: Facilitation for New Skillshare Teachers



  • Project:  a detailed agenda for an engaging and interactive lesson you can teach in 1 hour


[ Main Description ]

Who is this for?

This class is for new Skillshare teachers who want to know how to do 'office hours' so they can fully engage with their students during a radically kick-ass learning experience.

Dearest new teachers,

Ever wondered the best way to run your class (or "office hours") online or in-person?

You already have:

  • your class description,
  • your bio,
  • your syllabus...

...but you're not sure how to teach when you meet with students. You've experienced some awesome teachers on Skillshare and now you want to be just as awesome—so how do you make that happen?

Listen... it takes a little patience to plan ahead—and it's well worth it.

According to my mom (that's right, my mom), who was a middle-school teacher for over 31 years, most new teachers make one of two mistakes when planning classroom time:

  1. Too much information
  2. Not enough information

Knowing how to walk that fine line between those two is a very important skill. You want to allow students to learn from the essentials and drop the rest so they can run with it on their own.

Ideally, you also want students in your classes to feel like they're on a journey from beginning to end with a common purpose along the way. You want them to leave the class saying, "that teacher was the shiznit! I learned so much while I didn't even realize I was learning!"

Here's what I believe: When you plan ahead for student engagement, you give yourself a chance to relax and be yourself with students. And this will feel just as good to them as it will to you!

By the end of this class, you'll be able to:

  • Use and re-use a very simple formula for engaging students around a concept
  • Prevent the most common student breakdowns so that more students follow through with their projects
  • Make the most of your time (and students' time) during class hours



Make sure you've already completed Danya's "Become a Skillshare Teacher" so that you can come prepared with your class already in mind. You must also have a computer, a cup of hot tea, and some honey (actually, those last two are just reminders for me).


Beginner Level:

All newbies are welcome! And if you've been teaching for some time and are curious about this stuff, I will also welcome you with open arms and dove wings.



Matthew Sloane believes that teaching is not just about sharing information—instead, teaching is about supporting each student to discover what's true for them (and using information to support that process).

His Story
Most of his life, Matthew Sloane felt like he didn't fit in,... like he was not very bright, and like life happened to him as if he had no free will. He hated school because he felt the teachers were more interested in what they had to say than what the students had to say. He knew that was not what learning was about, but he didn't yet know any other possibility. So to him, school basically sucked.

Right after he turned 30, he became obsessed with understanding who he was. While spending over 1,000 hrs in learning environments with teachers he chose to learn with, he observed all the ways in which his various teachers helped him overcome each of his limitations about not fitting in or being bright, one after another. He realized instead how similar he was to everyone around him, that people benefited by his speaking up (even when he didn't want to), and that he had as much say as anyone else in affecting what was going on around him.

This felt like the learning he had wanted all his life. An environment that enabled deeper student connection, honored his unique perspective, and helped him value the choices he made.

As the possiblity of a new way of learning become more clear, Matthew actively studied both human development and facilitation to ground his understanding of what allowed for individual and group learning.

Professional Experience
Today, Matthew Sloane is a consultant and coach at Soulful Brand, LLC, helping socially-minded entrepreneurs develop authentic communication within themselves and in their business messaging.

Formerly at Interaction Associates, a training company that teaches other companies how to work in collaboration, he practiced and taught the art of facilitation within the company while learning the process of learning design (planning ahead to create a learning-oriented process).

Throughout his career, he has led both personal ("Redefining Love") and professionally-oriented workshops ("Engaging Presentations that Bring in Business").

Matthew loves helping new teachers create the circumstances where true learning can happen—that is, from inside each student.

Additionally, he's very happy with his choice of parents, especially because they've both been teachers for many years. As it turns out, osmisis comes in very handy now and then. He considers them his best teachers—even though it has taken him a long time to admit. At a time when parenting meant being told what to do, it was pretty awesome to be given the space to be himself.


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