Spotlight on Angel Watts

Early Care and Education Specialist, Quality Care for Children

Angel Watts 2Why did you become a GAYC member?

Being a member of GAYC helps me stay connected with the Early Childhood Community at our state and national level by having access to information and research. Being a member has helped me form relationships, partnerships, and created a dialogue with other Early Childhood professionals. Being a member has inspired me to make a difference as a professional and to inspire others in the Early Childhood community.

Tell us about your work with young children.Earl Car

I would say that my motto for education would be that of curiosity leads to a process which produces a beautiful and meaningful product. It is the process that matters and children and adults are a “work in progress” as life happens. Learning is a life long journey. I have been in Early Childhood Education for 26 years. I believe in Early Education and have dedicated my career and life works to working with young children. My Early Education journey began when my husband was stationed in Frankfurt, Germany. I have worn many hats in my Early Child Care career which include owning my own home based child care facility in Germany, infant through Pre-K, Transition Coach, Presenter, Mentor, Program Coordinator, Head Start Center Manager, CASA volunteer, founder of the Association of Young Children (AYC) at CTC, and I am currently an Early Care and Education Specialist at QCC.

What is your favorite part of your ECE job and why?

Currently I am an Early Care and Education Specialist. My current job role allows me to work with programs to become Quality Rated. I believe in my current role I can inspire programs to understand what quality looks like and give them the tools to make this happen for their program. In my current position it is my responsibility to help the program access the necessary tools to run a Quality Rated program for young children.

Share one way a child has inspired you.

The child who inspired me I taught in my 20’s at the beginning of my learning process on how to document children’s learning through play. Kaleb was one of my former Pre-K students and is currently in high school. Kaleb and his family were taking a spring break trip to see the Washington Monument. His family had talked about what they would see on their trip and the rich history of the Washington Monument. Kaleb would talk everyday about the trip his family was going to take. He would draw, paint, and write about it in his classroom journal. I documented his works and conversation about his trip. Kaleb went on his trip and when he returned to school his drawings, paintings, writings, and building structures became more detailed and elaborate. That is when I realized how important it was to document a child’s learning interest, language, and interactions with the materials and the subject he was so very interested in. Due to my documentation you could see his developmental learning process unfold and his family was able to see how Kaleb evolved from the process by my documentation. The lesson I learned was that children learn through play and through a dialogue created from home to school. Documentation of children’s learning through play is important.

What is your dream for the future of early childhood education?

Children and adults are a “work in progress”. We are influenced by our own choices. And society needs prepared individuals “who can make well-informed decisions and problem solve both independently and interdependently” (Norris, 2003). My dream for early education is to continue the research and create an ongoing dialogue about the importance of social and emotional intelligence in young children. I believe social and emotional intelligence is the foundation of academic success and must be nurtured, identified, and validated in the early years of development. Our children matter and how we impact research to create a dialogue helps determine their future.

What’s your favorite book and why?

One of my favorite books to read to young children is Body Parts by Ted Arnold. A child’s imagination is brought to life and gives a voice to questions. In this book a child’s social and emotional intelligence is engaged and validated. The emotions are felt by the child in the book and in the end the child’s questions and emotions are answered and validated. It is important that we open a dialogue with children about their emotions and help them identify them.