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Another Staff/PTO relationship Problem

23 years 3 months ago #62962 by Candall
Replied by Candall on topic RE: Another Staff/PTO relationship Problem
Okay, I will probably ruffle feathers here. But I agree with ohiomom. We all work hard and it doesn't matter if you are a stay at home or a working parent. There is just not enough time in the day.

But to address pto dad. I also feel that teacher involvement is crucial. I have complained about this myself in several postings. It all comes back to the teachers. They are the ones that pass out the notes, remind the kids of the events, give out the good or bad vibes about whether or not the kids should come to the events.

I don't feel that it is too much to ASK these teachers to help. All they can say is yes or no. If they say NO, then shrug it off. In our school our principle does not help promote us to the teachers so they feel it is not their responsibility. Frustrating, irritating...

What I don't understand is what is wrong with asking more of the teachers? When we are asked so much more of. When my mom was part of my schools PTA she says she never remembers purchasing books and playground equipment because the bugdet crises wasn't like it is now.

This is for the kids, shouldn't parents, principle and teachers all remember this? When teachers show up to events the kids love this, and more kids are likely to come when the teachers says " I will be there, will you?"

How is that wrong.
23 years 3 months ago #62961 by Bea
At our school, each year the Principal assigns (?) a teacher to be the representative at our monthly meetings. She/he then can communicate wishes/concerns to the board and also back to their weekly meetings for feedback. The position rotates each year, so no one teacher has the sole responsibility. This works quite well, as many of the teachers have their own families and a myriad of meetings already to attend. As far as the silent auction idea, we have done it for a couple of years in conjunction with our carnival in the spring. One parent was the chair of that event and wrote letters to local businesses for donations. She also put a notice out a few times to the parents of our school asking for donations from business friends or from themselves if they were a business owner. Then her team of volunteers ran around and picked all the items up, wrapped them nicely in colored cellophane, and displayed them on several long tables during the carnival. People walked up and down the tables looking to see if they had been outbid all afternoon. This was not too much of a strain on anyone. If the teachers wanted to participate by asking one of their "business friends" for a donation, that was great, but not the sole responsibility. I think the main thing in an organization like this is to be realistic and respectful of the goals and the people involved. The events and projects are worthwhile for the kids, but not at the cost of friction between adult groups. That is the best lesson to teach our children, how to interact happily and peacefully with one another while working to attain a common reasonable goal. Good luck and keep the humor alive!
23 years 3 months ago #62960 by OhioMom
Replied by OhioMom on topic RE: Another Staff/PTO relationship Problem
Just a slightly different perspective here, but what about the parents who also work during the day? They also have lives outside of work. By the time they get home from work it usually will be between 5:00-6:00 for most, allow time for picking up kids from the sitter, preparing dinner, and then there is homework. I know that in our house we spend alot of time on homework with three kids and new math this year. Then factor in housework, laundry, little league, dance, and all of the other things that go on, and let's face it that doesn't leave much time. Yes, this organization is in part for their children, but are they helping out in other ways? Do their children sell for fundraisers, if a class needs party supplies, do they help out there, do they volunteer in their child's classroom? There are many ways other than attending a PTO meeting to be active for your child. Especially if you have a meeting that takes 1 1/2 hours or more. Even as president of our group, I don't want to spend or take up anymore than 1 hour on a monthly PTO meeting. I don't feel that I have that much time to take away from my family at night. That is the reason for committees and such to handle the nitty gritty and then pose reccomendations to be voted on to the group.

We are a Parent-Teacher Organization, that is that. That is why we are a PTO, you need the P's and the T's together working as a team. However, I do agree with the fact that teachers have lives outside of the school and classrooms.But so do parents. For us it has worked to have grade level representatives at our meetings. Most grades have at least 4 teachers and they take turns attending PTO meetings, bring requests and then relaying the information back to their grade level teachers. This seems to work for us. Perhaps, you might want to give it a try. The average teacher then only will attend 2 meeting per year.

The truth of the matter is that this isn't the Beaver Cleever era and we live in a much faster paced society than what are parents did while raising us. When we were little, most mothers were stay at home moms, most children were from two parent homes, and moms had the time to attend PTO type events. Now, if you have kids, look at all of the extras that go into it, for example, we have three boys, so beginning in May, we will spend Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday's at the ball field that is just ballgames. That isn't going to count running child 1 to practice while child 2 is having a game. I know we aren't alone in this, it is a universal thing. However, this is when you need to change your PTO along with the times. If you don't always have alot of information to take care of, then have bi-monthly meetings. I know our meetings are relatively short in comparison to those who have said that their meetings can last 2 or more hours. I can't imagine what all is talked about, unless you have a program in conjunction with the meeting. Secondly, are the moms you have in attendance stay at home moms? For us most of our moms are. Therefore, we are looking at holding the meetings during the day. The teachers and staff are very excited about this as they will already be at school. The principal has agreed to try and work schedules, find volunteers to read to classes, whatever it takes to make sure that at least one grade level teacher will still be able to attend. You just have to keep going on a trial and error basis until you find what works for your group. Just keep and open mind, be open for suggestions, compliments and those who think you are doing it all wrong.
23 years 3 months ago #62959 by Bea
I know how hard it is to get volunteers for any function. As far as the teachers go has the principal addresses with them the need for their support, usually if the principal steps in on the PTO's behalf it helps some. My whole theory on teacher participation for our PTO is they do have lives outside of school and I do not expect them to have to come back to work our functions, they have worked their day and deserve a break. We do have a couple that help at the functions or at least attend and I'm happy with that and do not begruge the others for not attending. We also give money to each classroom at the beginning of the year ($200.00) but I personally do not see this as a favor to the teachers it is used to buy classroom stuff for the kids. I do applaud your wife's efforts...but as you stated she also works in the district and has a child their too, what about the teachers at the school who do not live in the district and have children in other schools? They may very well be active in THEIR child's PTO and no one should fault them for that. Our PTO's big issue is our own parents who couldn't be bothered with helping. The teachers have their job to do during the day...I think you should perhaps look to the parents lack of interest instead of the teachers, because if not having a few teachers at your event is going to "make or break" it your in serious trouble. I truly believe it is time for PTO's to stop using the old saying..."We are a parent TEACHER organization, aren't we?" and start telling the parents, "Look, this is YOUR kids school the teachers are doing their job teaching now it is time to motivate ourselves to continue the events that we know OUR kids enjoy...or we won't have them."
23 years 3 months ago #62958 by quarlesptodad
Another Staff/PTO relationship Problem was created by quarlesptodad
I am a Dad of a second grader. I am also The PTO President for the current school year. I served as Vice-president last year. The issue of teacher involvement has come to the point of destruction. We (i.e. PTO) are use to the fact that teachers do not participate in meetings. We are a small orginization in a 400 Student body. About 8 (EIGHT)core parents are very active as well as 1 (ONE) teacher. Now to the point. We are planing our Spring Carnival and decided that we must have Teacher participation in order to make it successful. We proposed to the teachers ,at a staff meetting, that they provide 1-2 items for a silent auction and that these items should be obtained from business FRIENDS. You would have thought that we asked for their first born! One teacher responded,and I quote, "If you can't get enough parents to care, why should we." We also addressed the issue of lack of parent involement. We sent letters to ALL student parents asking for assistance. We received 62 responses for volenteer work. My wife is a teacher at the middle school in our district as well as Homeroom Mom for my sons entire grade. Shes never missed a meeting and understands that it takes something extra to be INVOLVED for the main purpose OUR KIDS..!!!! Sorry for the long post but I felt the need to vent to a group that might understand what we're up againts.


We give every teacher $100.00 at the begining of the year as a show of apreciation. We also contribute 15,000-20,000 per year for school improvement. (i.e. reading programs, computer upgrades, playgroud equipment, special Ed. programs..ect....)
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