Question: Are one year term limits more productive?

I am president of our PTO, our bylaws state that is a 2 year term but I am already burnt out. Are 1 year terms more common/ productive for all?

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
One-year terms are certainly the most common, but I wouldn't say they're automatically more productive. For one thing, you get more continuity and a more experienced president (in the second year) with a two-year term. Personally, I prefer one-year terms with a co-president--sort of a president in training--to smooth the transition. But it sounds like the main issue isn't the length of the term, it's getting past the feeling of being burned out. Sometimes presidents feel like they need to do everything themselves. That's a noble feeling but generally counterproductive. It's important to delegate to others and to give them real responsibility so someone will be ready to step up at the next election. Don't be afraid to let an occasional project fail. Focus your own attention on the most important things and keep in mind that everything is a learning experience. Likewise, don't try to accomplish more than your group (and you) can reasonably handle. PTO work should be rewarding, not a high-stress activity. It's perfectly OK to stop doing even traditional events/activities if you just don't have the resources to put them together. Sometimes dropping a popular event can help you draw more volunteers -- they'll say they didn't realize you needed help so badly. Here are two articles that might help. When You Feel Overwhelmed offers some help in overcoming burnout. One Last Dance is my favorite inspirational story about PTO work. I hope you enjoy it too. One more thing. Parent group leaders don't hear it much from the people you serve, but thanks for all you're doing. Your work really makes a difference for students, parents, and the school (and research proves it, by the way). We know and appreciate how much effort you and parent group leaders like you put into making schools better.

Community Advice

jlmardlin writes:
Our term limits are one year and I was actually thinking that a two year term may be more productive. Though our past president was more than helpful and encouraging, I was still a little overwhelmed simply because being the first year, there's no way to know what all is involved. I truly feel the second year would be smooth sailing but would love to have a "co-president" to learn the ropes before my term is up. Craig, is that what you were referring to?

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