I moved to Texas in 2009 and immediately joined ATPE, but I did not attend my first summit until 2012. Summer now means two things: catching up on all the books that my fifth grade students have recommended and attending the ATPE Summit.
I have continued to attend summit every year since 2012. I enjoy planning with my local unit and participating in the professional volunteer leadership training. I truly believe that I am a stronger speaker and teacher because of the opportunities offered at summit. ATPE truly is “my ally, my voice,” and I thank my organization for helping me find my voice as an educator.
It is because of the annual ATPE Summit that I can stay focused on teaching; I am assured that my organization is focused on helping protect my freedom to teach. Most importantly, I am proud to play an active role in governance of the organization at the House of Delegates. In ATPE, our officers are real teachers who know the truth of balancing the pedagogy of education with the reality of teaching. I am confident of my leaders because they are teacher leaders. But don’t just listen to me—come see for yourself.
Each year at summit, I meet educators from across Texas—people with whom I have taught, people with whom I have trained, and people with whom I have corresponded. Texas does not seem nearly so large after a few days at summit!
From the opening session keynote speakers in the large ballroom (think Harry Wong and Alfie Kohn!) to the small breakout sessions on content-specific topics, there’s something to energize everyone at summit. Each year, I bring someone new with me, and I love that they always leave with a look of “WOW” on their faces.
If you are a member and have not yet been to the ATPE Summit, let this year be your first.
Photo: Stephanie Stoebe speaks at the 2012 ATPE Summit.
Stephanie Stoebe, a fifth-grade teacher at Teravista Elementary School in Round Rock, has been an ATPE member for 6 years. She was selected as ATPE’s 2014 Educator of the Year.
Views and opinions expressed in guest posts are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of ATPE.