Finding Ways to Get Involved in Your PTA
I am a mother of two elementary-aged children, a CPA, an entrepreneur, and a mid-level executive at a Fortune 100 company. Like all parents, I have a lot on my plate. But one thing that’s important to me is involvement in my kids’ schools, and specifically, in the Parent Teacher Association (PTA). I have served on the board of my children's PTA for four years. Even though this means additional meetings beyond my “day-job,” volunteering, planning, discussing budgets with the team and school administration, hosting events, working with community partners, and more -- I truly would not change a thing! Like most parents know, it’s about finding a way to prioritize.
Have you thought about getting involved but didn’t know what you could “let go” in order to do it? Here are my top three tips for getting involved at your child’s school:
- In every area of your life, only take on things that you enjoy doing and have passion for. For me, that’s not only being a member of PTA, but holding a leadership position in the organization. If not the PTA, there are countless other ways to volunteer in schools. If you don’t think you have the time, look at your other areas of commitment. If something on your plate is unenjoyable, figure out a way to remove it and replace it with something that will provide you with natural fulfillment.
- Do not convince yourself that you are "too busy" to dedicate time to your child’s school. The key to this is placing value on what’s important in your life -- and in the lives of your kids. Think about it: we are NEVER too busy to take on what we value and determine as important to us. If you want to have input and contribute to your child's school experience, being an active member of the PTA gives you an avenue to do this.
- Learn when to say NO. We all have competing priorities, and life happens. I get that and can personally relate. If you know that you have a potential conflict with a PTA or school event, you must decline when asked to volunteer that particular day. You don’t want to commit to helping and then have to cancel. If necessary, identify in advance the events that you know you can attend and/or be involved with.
The saying goes something like, "You will get back what you give." Based on my personal experience, I never went into being an active member of the PTA to get anything back. However, I have been pleasantly surprised that I have gotten back way more than what I have given. Each time I am there to witness the children’s smiling faces, I realize the time I’m volunteering pays me back in the most incredible ways.
Plus, giving back to the PTA goes well beyond helping create fantastic experiences for my children, as it impacts every young life walking the halls of my neighborhood elementary school and will for years to come.
And as a mother, I now understand all of the people that warned me that the time my children would be little flies by, and I must not blink, or I may miss it. I now have countless experiences that I have written in my personal memoir that have been created because I am part of the PTA. My involvement has allowed me to make "moments that matter" with my children and the children of our community.