Nothing can make a grown woman sweat like trying to bust your way into the PTA. 10 years ago I attended my first PTA meeting. I had a little notebook and a pen and a lot of enthusiasm. Committee? Sure! Bake Sale? What time shall I be there?!? You need someone to collect baby and current pictures of 85 5th graders and make a slideshow for a “graduation” ceremony. Sign. Me. Up. (True Story.)
Yeah, that’s called Child Number One.
Now that I have firmly moved into the camp of Children Three and Four (Go Twins!) I have some words of, well, wisdom seems a little too much like crazy talk….we will stick with calling it advice.
5 Things Not to Say at Your First PTA Meeting
Sure, I can make that.
No, just no. Don’t go getting yourself a reputation as Craft Mom. Because the next thing you know it’s just a glue gun, 900 popsicle sticks and you crying the tears of your forefathers. Glue guns burn, woman! Keep your skills on the down low at first.
Have you ever considered____? (insert virtually any change to “how we’ve always done things” here)
Here is the thing. The PTA isn’t ready for change. They have been doing the SAME thing since Dick and Jane was on the new reader list. If your PTA sells butter braids as their main fundraiser don’t even THINK about suggesting wrapping paper. And don’t you dare suggest moving the muffin table to the other side of the room to help the flow of traffic. Not that I would have done that.
Can we talk about the math curriculum?
No, you can’t. You can talk about Scholastic Book Club, donuts and the end of year carnival. Don’t go getting crazy thoughts in your head about fixing flawed curriculum choices from the inside. Also, you don’t know who likes that curriculum and you have to figure that out first, girl. You just don’t need that kind of aggression in your life. Save those big guns for later!
Oh, I have experience doing that!
Slow down there. Remember about keeping your skills on the DL? Next thing you know you are going to be elected to the Treasurer position and from there on to city council and then you are the Mayor. So before you go volunteering to lead Spring Fling make sure you’ve cleared the Mayor thing with your hubs.
Box Tops and Milk Moola organization doesn’t sound too bad.
Box tops and milk caps are small. How much trouble could that be? Now your guest room looks like a gas station confetti bomb exploded in there. Make sure you know the full extent of any role you raise your hand for and consider when the intense times of the volunteer role are.
Your best tactic for your first few meetings is a smile and a nod. Get the lay of the land. Learn the key players. Listen for opportunities. The PTA is a very valuable resource for your child’s school and you should definitely take part!