Joining Your PTA/O? Learn From a 6-year PTA Veteran Before You Do
Joining your school’s PTA/O is a wonderful way to get more involved in your community and shape your student’s educational experience. Whether you’re hoping to volunteer more or you just threw your name in the hat for president, here are some encouraging thoughts from a 6-year PTA veteran who’s been in your shoes.
Kellie Boomershine is the PTA president at Beech Hill Elementary in Summerville, SC, and says that your first year as a PTA member can be THE most exciting year. Here’s why:
1. You’re constantly learning. You’ll learn more about the school than you can imagine and you’ll see how your efforts, ideas, and initiatives directly benefit the school and your child.
2. You’re building more relationships. You spend so much time working with the students and teachers that they begin to feel like family.
3. You’ll have a new level of appreciation. You realize just how much the previous PTA members have done for the school, and you will be so excited to be a part of the new opportunities to come.
And for those who are thinking about moving up in leadership, Kelly says there are 3 reminders to keep telling yourself:
1. Don’t over commit. Your time on the board should be fun and enjoyable, but it is very easy to over extend yourself. Know your schedule and time commitment. Create boundaries if necessary.
2. Know you’re appreciated. Often times you’ll want early feedback on programs the PTA has put into effect, but life is busy. Remember that your work is valuable and appreciated even when you may not hear a “thank you” right away.
3. Don't be afraid to speak up and offer new ideas. This can be scary (especially at schools with long traditions), but just because something has always been done doesn’t mean it's the right way or the best way. Whether things change or remain the same, new options are always worth exploring.
Being a member of the PTA can be a challenging but fun experience. The greatest reward is seeing the excitement on a child's face when he/she is enjoying something the PTA has dreamed up!
What’s your PTA personality? Take this quirky quiz to find out what you (and everyone else) are up against :)
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