For years, I worked with the PTA. I volunteered countless hours and had a blast most of the time.
Also for years, I have listened to people complain incessantly about how the PTA operates.
I’d like to tell you some things from experience:
Your PTA is NOT, I repeat NOT holding your child’s school photos for ransom.
TRUST ME when I say that the second those photos come in, someone from your PTA is at the school making sure they get sorted and out to the teachers. I mean HELLO the chairpeople want their kids’ pics as much as you want yours and they are working diligently to make sure pictures are received in a timely manner. They will be passed off to the office as soon as possible, ESPECIALLY if we have a school vacation coming up. There is no reason to go on the school/district/PTA Facebook page and constantly ask for updates.
Your PTA did NOT purposely screw up your fundraiser order.
These things happen. We are not manufacturing your items ourselves and shipping them out. We have companies we work with. If you seem to think that year after year there is a problem, perhaps NICELY suggest to a PTA Executive Board member that maybe we should go with another company next year. If you can, suggest one. As a former board member, I met with lots of companies. The Board takes all the info we get from companies and maps out the year. Suggestions should be welcomed of course. In fact, if your Board is not taking suggestions, you can always go to district, regional then state PTAs.
Your PTA is made up of humans.
Yes, it is possible we made a mistake. There is no reason to fly off the handle about it. For the record, we will most likely take the blame, even if it is a company’s fault. We’re all humans here. Company relationships are important to us, but so is making our people happy. By all means, let them know there is a problem, but try to be as respectful as possible.
Your PTA has a life outside of PTA.
Yes, being a PTA Board member is a full time job. Yes, it takes many hours that people don’t even know about. Point is: PTA Board members deserve breaks. Example: If we say fundraiser pickup is from this time to this time, that’s when pickup is. It is your responsibility to stay informed and contact the PTA as soon as possible if you realize you won’t be able to make it. You have to arrange for pickup at another time. We shouldn’t have to hunt you down. Also, we shouldn’t have to stay an extra hour or two because you are running late. Other arrangements need to be made.
Your PTA has kids, families, jobs too.
Work, homework time, afternoon/evening activities, sports.. we’re all in the same boat! Just like we have lives, we also have kids just like you. Most times, those kids are helping us set up events or doing their homework at a table in the school because we’re cleaning up. I can’t tell you how many meetings I had to drag my daughter to when my Board was contemplating which companies to use. PTA kids are such troopers! They deserve credit. They are the first ones there and the last ones to leave, right along with us.
Bonus: We are well aware of the timing of our first fundraiser of the year.
New Flash! Do you love all those special events during the year? Well, those things have to be paid for in advance. We are fully aware this means that you will be receiving the first catalog or paper within the first week of school. Yes, it is possible the previous Board left a little money in the account.. but things have to be purchased over the summer so that kind of takes care of that. Do we feel guilty about it? ABSOLUTELY! We understand there is nothing more annoying than to be overwhelmed with fundraiser packets right at the start of a new school year.. but it can’t be helped.