It is coming close to that time of year again, all the school PTAs are looking for new board members. Before you say yes or no you need to read this!!
I was a PTA President for 2 years. I agreed to do it because it looked like no one else was going to step up, and I couldn’t bear the thought of our school not having all the wonderful events the PTA supports. We are talking book fair, spelling bee, science fair, talent show, bingo, and many others that our PTA supports. I am a firm believer that these events bring the families and schools together and that interaction can ultimately have a huge impact on our kids’ success and enjoyment of school.
Now before I go into the pros and cons, let me tell you that I did have a full board most of the time, so I was not doing it alone. I actually had a board of fabulous ladies that I am grateful for, as we will all be great friends for a long time to come. I also need to tell you that I am a type A planner and I put my full everything into the position. With that being said here are my list of pros and cons to accepting the president position on the PTA, but I think it would easily apply to any PTA board position.
You will make great friends, possibly lifelong friends. When you accept a position on the PTA board, you are generally going to be surrounded by like-minded people. Our PTA was not a “click” or exclusionary so I really enjoyed the wonderful people who were constantly involved.
You will have inside information on the runnings and dealings of the school. Especially as the president, because you will probably be meeting at least once a month with your school principal who will update you with the “state of the school”. If you are a person who wants to know what's going on, a PTA board position is probably for you.
You get to make decisions on the direction of the PTA for those two years you are a board member. For instance, our school did not have a science fair or really fund any STEM activities. As these were important to me, the board and I began funding and implementing these initiatives.
Along those same lines, if there are activities that are not popular or don’t have the volunteers to sustain them, you can make the decision to cancel them. Of course, you will want to wield this power wisely, and really listen to all your PTA members when making these decisions.
A board position is a great resume builder, especially if you have taken time from work to stay home with the kids and need to fill in that time gap. These positions require communication, planning, budgeting, public speaking, and the ability to work with a diverse group of people. These are all great skills that employers are looking for.