I have a confession: I’m on the PTA. But it’s not what you think. It’s cool.
Why does the PTA get such a bad rap? Thanks, Bad Moms, but we’re actually not baking gluten-free, fun-free food for the bake sale. In case you haven’t heard, there aren’t bake sales at school anymore. I’m not in control of who starts on the soccer team either. But maybe things change in High School. I can’t speak for that PTA.
What I can tell you is that I joined the PTA and I actually enjoy it. Even though I don’t have to explain myself, prepare yourself for a bit of a setting-the-facts-straight-session here folks. Take a deep breath and open your mind for a second. Forget those stereotypes. The PTA can actually be cool. Repeat after me, the PTA can be cool.
See Your Kids in Their Natural Habitat – I can’t seem to get my kids out the door fast enough in the morning, but for some reason I LOVE seeing them at school. One minute I’m shoving them out the car door cursing under my breath and then 15 minutes later I walk into a PTA meeting just dying to catch a glimpse of them in the hallway. Why? I have no idea. It’s like this maternal instinct clicks in and I’m just grinning and waiting for a sighting. It’s kind of ironic considering one of my children has imposed a “no hug” rule at school. I’ve been told I can say “hi” and wave. Luckily my other daughter always gives me a huge hug. Their friends sometimes give me hugs too (although I don’t think it’s allowed). We’ll see what third grade brings.
Where Everybody Knows Your Name – I’m sure it would be nice for everyone at your child’s school to know you personally, but that’s not reality. At our elementary school, our administrators come pretty darn close, but we have an admittedly smaller school than most. Join the PTA and you’ll get a chance to be at school more than most parents (yes, I know this is a SAHM privilege). On the flip side, you’ll get to know the lay-of-the-land and meet faculty and parents you may never have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. Park yourself in the front office and observe (PTA privileges, people).
The PTA IS Necessary – Without the PTA special programs and privileges would cease to exist. Yes, poof – gone! Even in Fairfield County. We fundraise in the Fall to fund the programs throughout the year. A lot of planning and budgeting goes into this process.
Because, Boxtops – You can find me talking about Boxtops on any given day. It’s the easiest way for parents to help fundraise since it’s already part of their routine. Clip those little beauties off of products you already buy and your friendly PTA rep will do the rest. The more Boxtops collected, the more cash money your school gets. Feel good about those Fruit Roll-Ups.
Meetings Usually Involve Coffee or Wine – Enough said. But seriously, I had a memorable
Mom’s Night Out PTA meeting last year during which I connected with some awesome moms. Oh, and there was wine.
Get the Skinny – The concept of PTA meetings may seem silly or overboard, but it’s only a required monthly meeting for those on the executive board (fancy name for those with more comprehensive roles). Otherwise, just pop in when you can (or want). At meetings the executive board is required to vote on certain things like the budget, meeting minutes and more. If there aren’t enough people, the vote doesn’t count. If you come to the meeting, you can vote on certain items, and you are also privy to updates from the School Principal, faculty liaison and what I felt was the most important, the BOE (Board of Ed) rep. That’s the
poor brave soul who volunteered to attend the BOE meetings and report back (thank you BOE rep!). They sit at the town meetings and you get the cliff notes. BINGO!
The PTA Is For Everybody – There are jobs for ALL. No time, no worries. There are things you can do from home, jobs that take an hour or two, or maybe just a day. Everyone who contributes at any level is making an impact in the overall success of the school year. Whatever your skill or hobby may be, there is something you can do to contribute to the PTA. We have parents who come in and plant flowers, a mom who started our wildly popular chess club, a dad who runs a before school fitness program. Volunteer in the library and meet your children’s peers.
You Don’t Have to Be THAT Kind of Mom – Even #badmoms can be on the PTA. Hey, look at me?! We’re all in it together. Give it a shot.