Yes, it’s been ages! What can I tell you – I was inspired…
A lovely friend with three children commented that she hadn’t gone to the PTA meeting at her oldest son’s school mostly because her infant son had been cranky that morning. She tongue-in-cheek wondered if it was “bad” that she didn’t really want to get very involved in the PTA anyway.
I started a response to her, and as often happens, it got very long. And it wasn’t really an appropriate response to her light quip, anyway. But I got off on a tangent because it resonated with me. Because I have noticed that there is very little parent attendance at PTA meetings at my own son’s school.
I don’t think you have to go to PTA meetings to be a good parent, or to be involved in the school. In fact, there are tons of parents who volunteer their time at PTA events, in the classroom or elsewhere in the school.
I was surprised, though, to see how few parents are able to attend our monthly PTA meetings. I am the only regular attendee that is the parent of a kindergartener – and between regular and multiage there are eight classes!!! But people work or have young kids, or whatever life throws at them. Our PTA meetings are at 9:15 am, and when I asked why they weren’t in the evenings so working parents could attend I was told that despite several attempts, even fewer parents showed to the evening meetings than the morning ones.
Is it apathy? Perhaps with some. But I don’t believe that’s the case with most.
With today’s technology I think parent awareness could be much, much better. I’m working to get the PTA at our school to set up a website/Facebook/Twitter presence so that busy parents can be involved and know what’s happening and why. Everyone complains about the candy fundraiser, but no one (besides me, of course) shows up at the meeting to give feedback. It would also be great to ask the PTA to post the meeting agenda prior to the meetings, and the minutes after the meeting, so that parents that cannot come to meetings can still know what’s going on, and give input. The school and the parents – and ultimately the kids – are missing out.
It’s not that I really want to be so involved in the PTA, and G-d knows the personalities can make me loopy, but I pretty much feel that since I don’t work, and I don’t have other kids, that I should help. I should attend.
Because I can.