A For Effort: Reasons why you should join the PTA at school
As soon as your child starts school, it's like you have entered a whole new world.
Daily reading and writing practice, homework and after-school clubs - and that's just for the kids. Now you are a school gate mum (or dad)!
So who are these people at the school gates?
There are the ones that turn up in their gym gear and jog on the spot to hit their step target for the day, the helicopter mums, the silent dads, the mean girls, the always late mums & dads, the practically perfect in every way mums, flirty dad and those PTA (Parents to Avoid) dictator mums.
You have heard the horror stories and the rumours and now you have even been approached to join the PTA (Parents Teachers Association), also known as the PFA (Parents and Friends Association) or even the PTFA (Parents Teachers and Friends Association).
Whichever one it is, it can strike fear into any parents heart.
But why do they have such a bad reputation?
The role of the PTA varies from school to school but almost all PTA's are involved in fundraising and most will organise events for parents and children. It is a great way of bringing parents, teachers and others together to raise money that makes a real difference for the children and helps us parents be positively engaged in our children’s education.
We all know that school budgets are being cut left, right and centre and whilst the core subjects are adequately covered, it is the extra's that get left along the way and that is where funds from the PTA come in.
The PTA is run by volunteers and it's those volunteers that often get the bad reputation. They appear to know everyone, are positively bionic in their abilities to run events, laminate tickets, organise disco's, knock out amazing posters, build fun games for the school fayre, print raffle tickets and bake gargantuan numbers of cakes.
You know there is an event coming when they appear at the school gates, trying to make eye contact as they ask for things like raffle donations, tombola prizes, cake baking and the ever-dreaded VOLUNTEERS!
The PTA is a great organisation to be part of, whether you can give up an hour a month or an hour a year. The fact is, the majority of mums on the PTA committee are like-minded, roll-your-sleeves-up and get-on-with-it mums who want to contribute to their children's education.
Everyone loves to attend the PTA events, but the fact is that if you want them to happen, someone has to do the work and the more of you there is, the easier they are to organise.
Are you a dab hand with Canva and can knock out a poster in seconds, is building a spreadsheet second nature, are you the master of social media, do you enjoy bargain hunting or do you just love to organise a great party? These are all skills the PTA needs.
Joining a PTA is like forming a new group of friends. You rally together, meet up for drinks and socialise and get to feel like you have made a difference too.
Go on, go along to your next meeting and see that the clique you thought the PTA was, is actually a group of lovely parents who will welcome you with open-arms and you may even make friends for life!!
Are you part of the PTA at your school? Let us know your reasons for joining in a comment below!