When I became a member of ATPE, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew the organization would insure me if anything were to happen, but I wasn’t sure what else they did. Once I became secretary of the Schreiner University local unit, I learned a little more about the association and grew more excited as I heard about the meetings and the ATPE Summit that I would get to be a part of.
But it wasn’t until I attended the 2016 Summit that my eyes were opened to all that ATPE is. It was my first major ATPE experience, and it exceeded all my expectations. The support and encouragement coming from several professional educators and their local units was overwhelming, and this helped me to see the unity within the organization and demonstrated the fact that ATPE truly does have its members’ backs.
The highlight of the summit for me was listening to the inspiring keynote speaker, Dr. Adolf Brown. He reminded us all that teaching is more than getting students to pass a test and go on to the next grade. Rather, teaching is about reaching out to each and every student as an individual with dreams and aspirations and helping those dreamers believe that anything is possible. I also really enjoyed the college workshops, where college students like me got to meet with experienced teachers. We learned what to expect in future interviews, as well as what to put on our résumés—and what not to put on our résumés. We also had time during the summit to begin preparing as a local unit for the coming school year. This time made the organization’s bigger picture real for me.
My ATPE experience thus far has been incredible. I am extremely excited to see what the school year holds, continue growing the Schreiner University local unit, and guide aspiring teachers just as more experienced members at the 2016 ATPE Summit helped guide me.
—September Richter, Schreiner University ATPE secretary
In Summer 2016, I experienced my first event held by ATPE. As a junior in college, I had begun doing hands-on activities in the classroom and was told I should join an organization that would have my back in case any problems came up in the classroom. I joined ATPE as the local chapter’s president, not knowing much about what they did.
Upon arriving at summit, however, I experienced so much more. My colleagues and I were welcomed with open arms. Local unit presidents and secretaries approached us with words of wisdom, tips for being successful in the future, and a variety of resources to use if we ever needed help or had any questions.
Throughout summit, I experienced a variety of mini-lessons that I will keep with me forever. As a student still taking courses, it was refreshing to meet with real, employed teachers and hear what they had to say about the profession. Talking to passionate educators made me excited to be an educator and part of such an amazing group that positively affects people every single day.
My favorite part of summit was the keynote speaker. His creative interaction with the audience and his ability to get us to see through students’ eyes were enlightening. He helped us remember the reasons we chose to teach. His moving speech inspired me and had me wishing I had already graduated and was in the classroom with students of my own.
My summit experience helped me make the decision to stay in ATPE, even after I graduate. Summit was an amazing experience, and I am already looking forward to the next one!
—Heather Stude, Schreiner University ATPE president
The 2017 ATPE Summit will be held July 10-12 in Austin. Do you have a story to share? Send Members Speak submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.