The first PTO or PTA meeting is when a group introduces itself, welcomes families, encourages new volunteers, and set the tone for the school year.
Sounds like way too much to handle, especially if you are a new PTO leader. But, the truth is, when a group keeps things simple and is sincere when welcoming folks and asking for their help, then they’ve nailed it.
And the opposite is true: If a group gets caught up in presenting information, pushing its agenda, and talking way too long, then its first meeting will be, plan and simple, a dud.
So, consider these guidelines:
Score: You wear a name tag, walk up to people as they arrive, greet them, and have a short conversation.
Strike out: You create a leader cluster at the front of room while you wait for your attendees to assemble.
Make people comfortable:
Score: You sit with parents and try a fun ice breaker to help put everyone at ease.
Strike out: You and your fellow leaders sit at a head table and pass around an attendance sheet.
Provide helpful information:
Score: You follow a simple agenda and explain things so newcomers will understand what your group’s priorities are.
Strike out: You talk at length and discuss issues using insider lingo as if everyone already knows what’s going on.
Help people get involved:
Score: You ask for help by clearly explaining what the volunteer assignment will entail and letting folks know you truly appreciate their assistance.
Strike out: You act like you’re doing the parents a favor by letting them work on a committee.
We have many resources on our site to help you with your first meeting. Here are just a few: