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I joined the PTA last night. Am I mad?

(11 Posts)
IrishSea Thu 29-Sep-11 12:51:10

It's DS & DD's primary school. They were desperate of another member to make up the numbers and I found myself putting my hand up before I’d had a chance to think it through! Never been involved with anything like this before. I haven’t got a clue what’s involved. Anyone out there been a member of the PTA and can tell me what I’ve let myself in for?

ByThePowerOfGreyskull Thu 29-Sep-11 12:52:21

lets do it together!!
Somehow having not been on the PTA I have been volunteered to be Chair this year (i take over at the beginning of october!)

I have no idea what I am doing!!

MrsRobertDuvall Thu 29-Sep-11 12:56:53

Another one here.
I am chair at a secondary school, and spent yesterday getting to grips with Xmas fair and Xmas tree sale.
In 28 degrees.

startail Thu 29-Sep-11 13:13:46

You'll be fine, just don't volunteer for anything you are bad at because you feel guilty.
I've secretary and treasurer for non school things and hated it because I loose paper work. I do posters for school have done for ages, that's fine people email me times, I print a new one if it's gone missing, simples!
We have other marvellous ladies who make cakes, sell teas and twist companies arms for prizes.

ibbydibby Thu 29-Sep-11 13:49:18

Well done! We had our AGM last night and there were 6 of us: 4 committee members, 1 teacher and the (new) head. Of the 4 committee members present , 3 are resigning from the committee. As the 3 of us resigning were last year's chair, secretary and treasurer, we have something of a crisis! There are 2 other committee members who were unable to attend, but new blood definitely needed!

Suggest that you don't get yourself talked into doing anything you don't want to, though realise that is easier said than done. When I first joined a PTA committee 10 years ago I went in full of ideas about what could be done - not realising that they would probably already have a fair idea of what they were going to do. Exisiting committee members will have a good idea of what works well for the particular school, and what doesn't, so if you have a suggestion about an event, then don't be surprised/hurt (as I was) if it is not taken up. My attitude initially was to go to meetings, listen and figure out what I could do. I would offer my services for things I could do, then could happily turn down things I would find harder.

Eg one year offered to take on job of writing to local companies/attractions to request raffle prizes for summer fete. A dull boring task, but useful, and something that can be done from home. More recently I have been chair, just for a year. I have found that hard, I am not an "organiser", but often had to put in a huge amount of effort, due to lack of help from others, to make events happen. (hence stepping down from it now)

Above all, enjoy it, use it as an opportunity to find out more about how the school works, meet other parents etc.

I have really enjoyed my times on different PTA committees, but realise others have not been so lucky (there was a huge long thread about this earlier this summer).

inkyfingers Thu 29-Sep-11 16:35:07

Look up National Council for PTA (NCPTA natch). They have lots of ideas and support if you need it or want training. It's good if a few newbies go along together to one of their events so you feel really inspired and equipped.

I'd agree with going with what currently works - our primary has a big Xmas fayre, everyone knows what's involved/who to ask/who'll be Santa/which stalls work/where to get raffle tickets/best place to advertise ... so they are worth repeating. Just add in some new things or easy events like a Body Shop party where someone comes in to 'do' the event and PTA gets a cut.

Schedule in some socials before/after the meeting (cheese and wine or pint at the pub) to help everyone gel and then it's a lot more fun. I love getting dads involved; they're really worth it and <ahem> can stall the bitchiness if PTA is heading that way ... blush!!

FannyFifer Thu 29-Sep-11 16:38:58

Yes you are mad, it's a thankless task.

YummyHoney Thu 29-Sep-11 18:01:13

Agree with FannyFifer, so, yes, you probably are mad.

Itsjustafleshwound Thu 29-Sep-11 18:04:23

I think it really depends on the PTA and parents concerned as to what extent you will be involved. Our PTA is pretty relaxed about targets and duties - some PTAs are more direct about their goals and roles ... good luck!

IrishSea Fri 30-Sep-11 10:45:19

Thanks all, some very helpful pointers. I don't want to go rushing in with all my 'new' ideas because I'm sure the other will have thought of them. Likewise I don't want to be a wallflower 'making up the numbers'! I fine line to tread.

There seems to be a good mix with a few dads involved. First meeting is on Tuesday so I guess I'll have a good idea of what I'm letting myself in for!

Thanks again,
Slightly mad IrishSea

MrsRobertDuvall Fri 30-Sep-11 11:05:39

Just make sure your meetings involve wine or cake.

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