Navigating Your Way Through The PTA

12:01 PM

As a parent, there is a certain level of expectation when it comes to your involvement in your child’s schooling. There’s the help that you’ll do for school projects and homework. There’s the help that you’ll do if you volunteer to handle school sports teams and then there’s the PTA. The Parent Teacher Association, who - more often than not - can be quite intimidating to parents – especially the newbies at grade school! It can feel like the biggest clique in the world, as all the parents and teachers seem to know each other, like each other and get along really well. This can leave you feeling like you’re looking in from the outside, but never fear! If you want to be a part of it, there is a few things that you need to know.

The PTA can be a step within the education of your child. You want them to have the best of the best for their education – every parent does – and the PTA helps supplement that education. They take every ‘Five Must Have Tips’ article in relation to raising cash and they hit them hard across the board. They want to raise as much cash as they possibly can to give your child and others the education that they deserve. The fights for teacher’s rights, full funding for different educational classes and even school improvements are big ones. The efforts behind bake sales, charity sports games and color runs all arranged by the PTA is huge, it’s no wonder you want to be a part of that. There are studies that show children to be far better off if their parents are involved in their school life and the membership that you pay to be a part of the PTA all goes toward paying for their education.
Your school PTA will be open to all parents who are interested in being a part of it, and they should always send home information with your little one so that you can find out how you can be a part of it. You may find that every school has a different way of running their PTA meetings. Some schools love it to be a big, formal arrangement with regular meetings and everyone having a place and role. Other schools prefer the informal approach and it works really well. Being involved in the PTA gives you a chance to put forward ideas you have for the school, rules you would like to see amended or even new rules you would like to see enforced. It doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience, although you may feel like that when you first join. You don’t have to be the president, nor do you have to be any kind of leader if you don’t want to be. Sometimes, the best part of a PTA is the feeling of being heard and included.
When you get accepted onto the PTA, don’t be afraid to speak up! The whole point is to give you a voice and a chance for you to bring something new to the table. Your ideas may not always be taken on, but if you stay quiet about them, no one is going to know what it is you’d like to see improved. There are different committees that are available to join within a PTA, such as those who are strictly involved with fundraisers only, then those who only deal with the end of year dances and yearbooks. You also get the chance to socialise and mingle with other parents, which as a parent, can be wonderful. Like-minded people that know your children can make school life a lot less lonely for you and give you something to enjoy. Having a social life outside the children can be hard and PTA can give you that outlet and chance to meet and mix with new people from different backgrounds, all with a very common goal: making school life easier for the children.

Once you’ve elbowed your way into the PTA, make a point of finding your place and being an active member of the school. Get to know the teachers and parents and get to know the way the school is run. Don’t be afraid to take initiative and be a part of something utterly wonderful. Your child’s school career can be enhanced, simply by you taking an extra step and going that extra mile with your time. Life at school can be so much easier for children when their parents are involved, so what are you waiting for?

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