At the end of the school year, my child received a letter stating they were seeking nominees for the PTO board. Thinking to myself, "Why not?" I put my name in the running for Vice President. Considering my child is only in the first grade this was my first experience with the PTO, also known as the Parent Teacher Organization. We do events such as popcorn Fridays, the Fall Carnival, and we help the teachers get the things they need in order to enrich the lives of our students. I had no idea how much actually went into all of these events before becoming a PTO mom.
There are So many meetings.
After receiving the news that I was elected Vice President of the PTO I was wide-eyed with excitement. The first meeting was called. I had my binder and a heart full of willingness to help the student body. Then the second, then the third, then the fifth, and the list goes on. This was before the school year even started. There are definitely a lot of meetings behind the scenes of each event put on by the school.
It's not always fun and games.
Being a PTO board member can be incredibly stressful. The parents and teachers know your face. You get asked a million questions a day. Each event has so many small details that must be planned carefully. A lot of work goes into being on the PTO board. There are long days at the school, fundraiser paperwork, event planning, and much more. It isn't always fun and games.
The other board members become your friends.
While some personalities can clash when coming together in a high-stress position, getting to know each other is bound to happen. Friendship blossoms. You spend such a ridiculous amount of time with these people it is nearly impossible not to converse with them. I have found them to amazing people and consider them my friends. Coming to this town and not knowing anyone, joining the PTO definitely helped me to come out of my shell.
You get to see your child in their everyday environment.
One of the greatest perks of being on the PTO is that I get to see my school-aged children in their environment on a daily basis and I get to know their teachers. It is an amazing experience to see them making friends and interacting with their little corner of the world that is away from you for 7 hours a day. I love getting small glimpses of my children in the hallways while I'm on PTO business. It makes me ridiculously happy.
You learn a lot about school dynamics.
When you are a board member you get a close up look at the day to day dynamics that go into a school. You really start to appreciate all of the hard work that comes from the teachers, principal, and office staff. It is not always apparent how much the staff at a school do when you aren't involved. Being on the PTO gives you an insiders perspective.
You know information before your child brings it home.
Most parents know that sometimes information comes home from the school at the last minute. You get a letter in your kids book bag saying "Hey picture day is tomorrow!"
Being on the PTO I am able to stay ahead of my children's school events, because hey, I'm helping to organize 75% of them. I have a calendar full of most of the important dates for the entire school year. This is incredibly helpful to me as a parent, since I'm usually kind of a mess when it comes to school events.
It is incredibly rewarding.
It is an amazing feeling when you pull of a successful event for the school. You can see the happiness on the faces of the children or when you raise more than enough money from a fundraiser to put on an amazing event for the children. It is incredibly rewarding to be a part of events for the kids. Knowing that you helped to make the school year a bit more fun for the children.