My job on the PTSO board is as parliamentarian. No, I didn’t know what it was either. It’s my job to read the charter and keep us on track legally and time wise. Yes, I find that extremely funny as well.
I can be pretty shy and slow to warm up to a situation, but after we get going, I’m the worst offender at getting us off on tangents. Susan Holt calls it ADOS…Attention Deficit Ooh Shiny. For example, we got to the line item on t shirts, and I distract the situation by pulling some out of the cupboard to buy some for the kids and I.
The PTSO is a lot about selling. Not necessarily t-shirts, otter pops, and wrapping paper, but the idea of parent and community involvement in the education process. The education system at a whole is struggling. Lack of funding, time, and support limits our very talented teachers trying to grab at 30 live wires in a class room looking for a way to ground them while jumping through bureaucratic hoops and spinning their own personal plates in a corner. The teachers at the school have my full respect. Our job as parents is to support them beyond just making sure our kids are at school. In whatever way is possible to us at the time, teachers need resources, volunteers, and most especially patience.
Parent teacher conferences are coming up. Click here for some tips on successfully getting the most out of that meeting.
Whenever you find yourself frustrated with your child’s teacher, and it will happen at least once on their education path, volunteer a day in the classroom. Offer to teach something, read to the kids, or help with an art project. Live, in one small way, what they do day after day. The insight is amazing. It also gives another perspective into your child’s personality, friends, and experiences.
I know the fundraising can be frustrating. Sometimes it seems like the school is just trying to turn our children into little billboards and guilt selling machines. My advice: choose just one. Tell your kids ahead of time that you will only participate in one fundraiser per year, and then do your best on that one. When money is too tight for that, then budget some time or talents to give instead. For example, we’ll save about $5 per order having volunteers sort products rather than having the company do it. If you spend an hour and and sort only 10 orders, it’s like giving the school $50!
A child’s first responsibility in school is to learn. A teacher provides the path. A parent’s responsibility is to be an advocate for their child on that journey.