Teacher and coach uses education to be a postive influence

Matthew Janisch

When Matthew Janisch started coaching youth and high school football in Stoughton, Wisconsin, it unlocked a passion for teaching he didn’t know he’d had. Working with students of any age drove him to be a positive influence in their lives. However, he didn’t have a degree to pursue a full-time teaching career. Thankfully, he found a position as a Head Start Teaching Assistant with Reach Dane, an organization that was willing to help him advance his career.

With working full-time, coaching, and returning to school Janisch knew he’d need a flexible program. The Human Resources department at work recommended the UW-Platteville Preschool Credential program because they offered the program online, as well as all the credentials offered by The Registry.

The six-course sequence covered many of the different topics professional encounter in child care, ranging from health, safety, and nutrition to child development. With each course, Janisch found he could immediately apply lessons in the classroom and reach his goals as an educator.

“In Head Start, we definitely see our fair share of children who have experienced trauma or display challenging behavior,” Janisch said. “My goal was to become more trauma-informed and to learn more strategies to help these children. The classes did help me, especially the Guiding Child Behavior class.”

His coursework provided a lot of valuable knowledge, yet Janisch also took the opportunity to learn from his peers in the childcare profession. “I enjoyed discussing with others in the Early Childhood Education field what challenges and successes we have had in our work. That along with the great info and strategies we learned in the classes definitely made it all worthwhile,” Janisch said.

Janisch celebrated completing the Preschool Credential in January 2019 at a ceremony in Wisconsin Dells with nine other UW-Platteville graduates and students from throughout the state. While he was proud to have completed his first credential, Janisch is already looking ahead. “My goal going forward is to use the credits I earned from the Credential to pursue an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education.”