Blog: Humans of OCAEYC

OCAEYC would like to celebrate and honor the work of early educators in our membership. The stories below have been gathered from the field and include a wide range or early learning professionals who are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of the children and families in our communities. Learn about what inspires them and how they became part of the Early Childhood Education (ECE) profession.

If you have a story to share we would love to talk with you! Please email us to arrange an interview. Thank you for your valuable and essential work!

Meet James Bettes

Early Educator with Catalyst Kids

I was in construction and volunteering in my niece's classroom; hanging around with her. One of the teachers said, "You can actually stop doing construction and make a living out of this." I moved back home and started going back to school. Because of a learning disability it took me 3 1/2 years to get my Administration and Teaching Certificate through Orange Coast College (OCC). It was a huge difference from construction. I didn't have that construction mentality. I am a big softy. I found the ECE field and feel that I belong here. One of my niece's teachers said, "If anything, just do it for a year - you are going to make a huge difference." Going from 26 in a class this year to 16 in a class has made a huge difference. I know all of their little personalities; it was more difficult before with so many children. I would like to see advocacy for more men in to be in the ECE field, and for all of us to receive a worthy wage and compensation.