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How to promote a healthy PTA/Teacher Relationship?

9 years 10 months ago #166063 by Rockne
Hi mes -

I think your concerns are well-placed. It's awesome to have teachers involved, but you definitely don't need every teacher at every event. I can absolutely see why that makes for trouble. And the mandated involvement is further cause for concern and of resentment.

I'd rather be in a school with 20 amazing teachers of the 3 R's who rarely attend PTO or PTA events than in a school with 20 just-OK teachers who attend everything.

I'd start with a discussion with your Principal sharing what you've shared here. Your group wants to help create a great school environment. You want to create involvement opportunities for parents, have an effective voice in school happenings and serve the school well.

Just like teachers want to create a great school, be supported in their efforts, get the resources they need to teach well, etc.

They are two different roles at school. they intersect and the end goals are the same (great school), but they aren't the same job.

My mom taught 1st grade for 20 years and rarely attended PTO events at her school, because she was busy raising 4 kids and attending PTO events at *our* school. But she was a great teacher. I know her school was happy to have her and her kids were lucky to have her.

You have the right motivation and the right thinking. Start the conversation...


PTO Today Founder
9 years 10 months ago #166059 by michelleworkman
Do the teachers have a say in how the money is spent? Teachers would definitely be more eager/willing to help out if they have a say in how the money is spent! Why not do a teacher survey to get their opinion and suggestions on fund allotment. You may also want to include a section on what kinds of activities they would like to see the PTO organize. If you find that teachers would like a say in these sorts of things, you could do a weekly, bimonthly, or monthly fundraiser for each teacher. This would allow them to keep the profits for educational supplies. Something similar to a snack day works really well. Of course, you would need to make sure you follow your districts health guidelines and also consider the financial situation of your students. For example, is it reasonable to ask a student to buy a bag of popcorn for 25 cents every week or would a monthly time slot work better for your school.
10 years 1 month ago #165780 by mesptamom
Let me start out by saying we have amazing teachers at our school and unlike many of the posts I read we get a lot of teacher involvement and support and without them we would not be able to pull off many of the programs and events we have held this year.

I am concerned though about the way their involvement is "encouraged". Our Principal places extremely high expectations on our teachers and has pretty much mandated that they become PTA members and attend all events. While we appreciate his support it's a much harsher approach than the other board members are comfortable with. At the beginning of the year the teachers mentioned they were getting "you're in debt to the PTA emails" if they had not yet joined. We really want and appreciate the support of our teachers and don't want to discourage that but at the same time we want them to be participating because they believe in and support what we are doing, not because it is mandated to them.

This has even had a negative effect on us trying to set up more events during the year. The Principal tends to discourage us from hosting programs and events because that means the teachers have to attend more events. Hosting less events though hurts our parent population since they all have to work around different schedules. We are really trying to build participation and in order for us to do this we have to have programs that appeal to different audiences and allow for different schedules.

I'm hoping some of you can offer ideas for incentives for us to reward teachers for their participation to take a little of the sting out of the mandates.
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