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Staying Connected

Association of Texas Professional Educators
Association of Texas Professional Educators

Date Posted: 10/12/2015

I recently traveled home to visit my parents. The five-hour drive from the Dallas/Fort Worth area to Canyon, Texas (in the Panhandle), is one of my favorites. It is a time for me to reflect and catch up on my thoughts, as I am forced to disconnect from social media. This 355-mile drive takes me through the many small towns that are sprinkled along 287.

Texas is 268,820 square miles, with teachers, support staff, community members, and, most importantly, students from all different types of backgrounds. Although Texas is large, its educators have the same dream—to offer their students the best opportunities to grow into contributing members of society.

When I moved to Dallas, walking into a new classroom in one of the city’s 20 elementary schools was a huge culture shock. My hometown had one elementary school, one middle school, and one high school. In Canyon, it took me 20 minutes to get to school because I lived out in the country off a gravel road. My current commute also takes me 20 minutes, but I have to travel from one end of town to my school at the other end of town.

Although there are 355 miles between my current and former homes, educators throughout the state of Texas have the same goals and ambitions as I do. Many of these educators are part of the member-owned and member-governed Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE).

ATPE offers:

  • Online learning through webinars (where you can receive continuing professional education [CPE] credits!)
  • Online book studies
  • Ways to connect with other educators through events such as ATPE Connect, region meetings, region conventions, and the ATPE Summit
  • Online articles through the ATPE blog
  • Great articles through their magazine, ATPE News

With Texas being so big, I am thankful that I am part of an organization that supports educators no matter where they are on their journey in education. My membership in ATPE offers me a plethora of resources at my fingertips—and a common bond with my fellow educators across the state, regardless of whether we are separated by thousands of miles or a couple of doors.

Andrea Keller is a prolific blogger who writes multiple blogs, including busybeeideas.blogspot.com. She was named one of 20 educators to watch by the National School Board Association; has been named Teacher of the Year for TCEA and ATPE; and has presented workshops at SXSWedu, TCEA, and various other conferences. She is a frequent contributor to the ATPE Blog and ATPE News magazine.

Views and opinions expressed in guest posts are those of the guest blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of ATPE.