Stop Whining and Join PTA Already. Seriously.

I am so sick of all the snarky posts this time of year bashing PTA.

If you have not joined your school’s parent-teacher’s association, you are doing a disservice to your child(ren). And mine.

I’m not talking about sending in the $10 annual family dues, then never showing up to an association meeting. If you are going to join PTA, do it right. Get involved and stay involved.

Because we can’t do it without your help

Parents volunteer with PTA to ensure our children have access to the art supplies, field trips, and  garden time that our district does not pay for. I don’t suffer the eye-rolls of Starbucks baristas after ordering 37 customized drinks for each staff member because I like being annoying. Nor do I stay awake until one a.m. decorating doors on campus with paper butterflies and clever sayings because I love crafting. I do it to show appreciation to our teachers and staff who take time from their families and work (often unpaid) for the benefit of our kids.

Balancing books and planning Fun Runs is not my forte, but guess what? When push came to shove, I took one for the team, for OUR team, so that our school community would continue to be enriched. Many fun events, including Dia de los Muertos, Running Club, Spring Gala, Variety Show, school assemblies, and the Welcome Back breakfast (just to name a few) are not organized by glitter-covered fairies in the dark hours of the night while you and I are sleeping. We have a group of parents who spend hundreds of hours each semester raising money and planning events to enrich the experience of all of the kids at school. That artwork your kid brought home? The supplies were probably purchased by PTA. That field trip you didn’t have to pay for? Yeah, PTA subsidized that for you. The instruments and choral lessons? You guessed it: PTA funded them.

I don’t care WHY you want to join PTA

If you want to make new friends, we are the group for you.

Do you have some free time while your kids are in school? Come on by.

Are you a narcissistic control freak with a Type-A slant? We absolutely have an event you can take over and run.

If you have had a bad experience with PTA in the past, just give us a chance.

Want free childcare once in a while to chat with other parents, problem-solve, and drink wine? You might be perfect for our Executive Board!

Because the truth is, if I, as a full-time working mother with four children could manage to be PTA Treasurer in my “spare time,” through one pregnancy and two newborns, then you can show up to a monthly meeting and volunteer a couple hours once in a while.

And please don’t tell me PTA is too clique-ish for you. If you showed up consistently, you would see that we are a group of parents desperately trying to do what is best for our school community. We love new people! Sometimes we suck at following through, or considering new ideas because we are exhausted and overworked, and it feels easier to do what has always been done. You can change that by volunteering to help.

Is this Parent Shaming?

Maybe a little bit, though not intentionally. It is to tell you that in our PTA, we have a role for everyone. Every. Single. Person.

Even for folks who hate PTA, who don’t want to ever step foot on campus, or who can’t find a sitter, we have projects that can be done at home, on the weekend, and maybe even with your kid’s help. Yes, we are that desperate.

And if we, the PTA parents you all love to despise and mock, decided that we were fed up with spending all of our free time on fundraisers and activities that YOUR kid benefits from too? You would lose your mind and pen a terrible diatribe about how the district does not fund all the activities you expect a public school to provide.

Because it’s us, PTA, who are busting our butts to fund the extra enrichment that you have grown to expect. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for you to come help out once in a while. Be heard. Have fun. Join PTA.

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One Response to Stop Whining and Join PTA Already. Seriously.

  1. Trina Kuklaw September 10, 2017 at 2:38 pm #

    I love this, great job however you forgot the most important reason why you should join PTA. Advocacy! PTA is the largest child Advocacy Organization in the Nation, over 4 million strong. Your membership =your voice on issues like Federal policy, classroom cuts, mental health, bullying, child hunger, school bus safety, diversity and inclusion, just to name a few. That is why ANYONE and EVERYONE should join their local PTA. Every Child One Voice!

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