ATPE is proud to bring you this series of posts from our staff members. Today’s post features membership assistant Michael Cowan.
How long have you been working at ATPE? What was your first job here?
I’ve been with ATPE for 4 ½ years now. In October, it will be five. I started as a temp in our Membership Department during busy season and was blessed that there was an opportunity to work here full-time.
What drew you to working at ATPE?
Luck. I’d been searching for a job for a while, and when this one came up, it seemed like a good match for my experience. I love working with customers and had 15+ years of customer service experience before I came here. Plus, I love the nice, friendly environment at ATPE.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned while working here?
Working at ATPE has taught me how much society undervalues teachers and what they do. They are overworked and underpaid. They’re there to mold minds and are passionate about what they do, and they have to work 12 hours a day for eight months of the year! It’s amazing how much teachers’ ability to just teach is restricted, with all the testing and demands on their time. Seeing how little time they have to actually teach has been eye-opening.
What is your favorite part of working at ATPE?
I love what we stand for here at ATPE. I am thrilled to work for teachers, helping them battle unfair laws and get more respect for their profession. They work hard to support all of our kids—even the kids of elected officials—and they deserve more respect. I also really like the people I work with. This is a good place to work. We’re happy here, and we have fun when we can.
Share something fun about yourself that members might not know.
One of my favorite pastimes is playing poker, and I’m really competitive. I love the adrenaline rush that comes with the game. I love bluffing and practicing my poker face. When the chips are down, I’ve learned how to bring myself back up.
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