Being in charge of any organization is not easy, but there are tools to help! There are volunteers (like me!) who are willing to share their experiences that you can draw upon to make tweaks in your own organization. In this post, I’m going to cover some other easy ways to get your PTA / PTO organized!
First, a bit about me: I’m what you’d call a PTA nerd. I’ve been involved in a PTA since my first kiddo started school, and dove in head first. I’ve been President for two years (starting when my oldest was only in first grade), Fundraising Chair for one year and Recording Secretary and Staff Appreciation for this most recent year. Oh and since my kids now attend two different schools, I bet you can figure out what that means: double the PTAs! I was Historian and Staff Appreciation co-chair this last year at the upper elementary school. I tell you all of this to give myself some credibility when I explain how to run a well organized PTA. I’m walking the walk, as well as talking the talk, people!
All right, enough about me! Here are some of my best PTA organizing tips:
1. Plan in advance.
It’s always a good time to plan! Even in the Summer, it’s PTA planning season in my neck of the woods. I have meetings scheduled for this week and next. But I’m really not complaining because Summer planning meetings are key to getting your PTA / PTO’s rear in gear.
I highly suggest getting an overview of the year planned out during the Summer. If you wait until school is in full swing, it’ll be much harder to get your team focused with the craziness of new schedules and kid activities. Do it now and there’ll be less to do when you’re busier during the school year.
2. Keep meetings to about an hour.
Seriously. Meetings that last over an hour, to an hour and fifteen are just too long. Parents will start bailing on the meetings and that’s the opposite of what you want.
Ask for reports from officer & committee chairs before the meeting so that the agenda can be set with all issues to be discussed at the meeting.
This will also ensure that people giving reports at the meeting will be prepared and won’t be scrolling through their phones looking for correct dates and times.
3. Do some reflection after meetings and events.
Ask yourself and the PTA / PTO team:
How can the event or meeting be improved in the future?
What didn’t work so well?
Don’t just do things the way they’ve always been done if they don’t work.
But at the same time, don’t change things just for the sake of changing things. Write all of this down so you won’t forget any nuggets of gold that are mined out of the discussion or reflection time.
4. Communicate clearly.
Discuss major issues during meetings or via email to the Executive Board.
Don’t have side conversations that only a few members are privy to. This is disruptive and makes your group feel like an episode of Motherfunders at worst, or a clique at best. Both are bad, so don’t do it.
5. When in doubt, list it out!
Planning is so much easier when you make a list. But making the right kind of list is key. Make sure you know what’s involved in each event you & your team plans so that everything can be accounted for.
Overwhelmed by what I’ve just gone over?
Have some doubts that you can do it? I know you can do it because all women are serious wonder women!
It’s 60 pages of organizing nirvana and has everything from coordinated calendar pages to really fantastic officer & committee forms that’ll make your year as President (or any other Board position, really) so much easier.
I’ve thought of everything I either used as President or Fundraising Chair, and then added everything I wish I’d had to make my life as PTA leader easier. It’s all there, ready for you! Get it today and you’ll be on the road to a more well run PTA / PTO!
April 2017 Update! I’ve started a new blog to help PTA/PTO leaders! It’s called PTO Answers! Please subscribe so you don’t miss out on only the very best advice to run your PTA / PTO with ease!
Also, I have a Facebook Group just for PTA/PTO Leaders + Volunteers: Request to join here. The group offers the chance to get your burning PTO questions answered by me and other PTO nerds, plus tons of motivation, inspiration and support exactly when you need it most!
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