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How do we hold parents responsible for attending PTA

20 years 1 month ago #109922 by Michelle B
Yes, I did take offense to the shoe comment because for a lot of years, new shoes or anything new for me, wasn't an option. Yes, there are parents who could attend that don't but even then, if they are a working parent, that means one less hour with their children.
Holding parents accountable, as Florida does, doesn't include volunteering at the school or PTA meetings. It's things like P/T conferences and the like because that is their education. Clothing, food and the like, takes money, not time.
As for being available to the parents, I see it as the rarity rather than the norm. There are those teachers that actually care and there are those who are just working on their masters so they can get the hell out of Dodge. It's just a stepping stone to them.
I briefly said it before, I know that being a teacher is often a thankless job and you work long hours and have your own families and you definitely don't get paid what you're worth but in your case, attending is part of your job. It also takes a special kind of person to work with disabled children and I'm certain that it puts you over some of the other teachers as well, as far as commitment goes.
I too speak from experience, I deal with 30 different schools in two different counties/school districts on a regular basis. I talk to teachers, parents, staff and school board alike. I attend school board meetings as a PTA representative and I'm involved in several groups at the district that some people involved get paid for. I don't. I have talked to parents at their own PTA meetings, at school board meetings, and the like. I've met with struggling PTAs that have the problem of involvement and talked to many of the parents at those schools. I've heard their stories. I see other parents that are not involved at the school, at church events, cub scouts, sports and music. Many of them work, and those that don't, are working in their communities on Safe Kids or Gifted and Talented or groups related to IDEA. Just because they aren't doing it there, doesn't mean they are not working for their children. This isn't their priority and they don't volunteer HERE because they see a value in the other things they are doing for their children. As a volunteer, I'm sure other groups would love to have me, in fact, think that I'm not giving time THERE because I don't care.
I only have so much time to go around and the bulk of it is spent with my child. Volunteering on the PTA does take time away from him. I think that every parent here could say that they could spend more time with their families if they weren't volunteering at the school. (How many PTA/PTO widowers out there?) If they are in the classroom and they have another child, the other child loses some of their time.
I try really hard to value my teachers and see their side of things. I think that they too should give that same respect to us, as parents.
I really think that the shoe analogy you should have used is "when I've walked a mile in them";
and not just one pair but every style, shape and color you can imagine.
20 years 1 month ago #109921 by melloweer
oh very well said
20 years 1 month ago #109920 by Kathie
Our teachers don't attend our PTA meetings and I can't say they are missed. The times are during school hours to make it convenient for many parents and when we have evening meetings, most teachers don't come back for them. Many live outside of our district and I understand it would be an imposition for them to attend. Our Principal, on the other hand attends them all. She's our liason to the staff and passes on any requests from them.

Maybe that's part of the reason you're ticked off Towanda, because you HAVE to be there and when you attend the parents aren't. I guess I just can't relate to this problem. The parents that can help out do, the ones that don't are missing something from their lives. You can't mandate people to volunteer because it's the right thing to do and you know it's good for them.
20 years 1 month ago #109919 by melloweer
I wan't offended by the shoe analogy....I'm a shoe-a-holic and thought it was funny. I also think its a good point too. I think what some and myself are saying is, yes we understand not all parents can come, but more can come then what do come. 593 kids at my school (lol how many times have I said that number on this thread) and 7 parents on the PTO. I get the fact some parents truely are as busy and dedicated to supporting their kids in other activities besides the PTO but c'mon only 7 parents??? There are always parents that can step up that just choose not to.....those are the ones that frustrate me the most, not the parents that really are active in their kids life, but granted those type parents are pretty hopeless anyhow (oh don't go nuts on that comment cause yall know you know a few parents like that) As far as the teachers go.....we don't require all our teachers come to the PTO meeting. We have 1 teacher rep and it works great. I think some parents expect teachers to do really more then their fair share simply because they are teachers. On the other side of it when parents (PTO) really do need the teachers to step up and help out (carnivals and such) a lot of teachers don't for that reason of doing so much already.......
20 years 1 month ago #109918 by Towanda
Michelle, we (teachers) have to attend PTA meetings. That is a part of our contract. I'm sorry that your teachers aren't available in terms of contacting them as some of us are.

Venzmama, I did mention in my last post about focusing on those parents who attend, but don't just stop there. Again, I am appreciative of any support we receive, but I also spoke about holding parents responsible for the lack of. Yes, I am a firm believer of that.

If you check certain states (like FL), they hold parents accountable, especially if they are on some state assistance. They are mandated to attend parent teacher conferences, they are to make sure that their child is properly dressed and have the necessary materials, etc. If parents do not do these things, this information is reported to the state and their assistance is taken away. Why? Because usually monies are allocated for the children and if parents don't show interest in their schooling amongst other things, it is considered neglect.

I hear what you all are saying, but again, keep in mind what teachers go through as well as what we, as parents, go through. We can't do everything for the parent. Yes, we are supportive and many of us go out and beyond. Why? Because that is what we do. I know that's what I do.

I feel people were offended by the shoe analogy, but what I am stating is the truth. I am speaking from experience.
20 years 1 month ago #109917 by venzmama
I stand by what I said before and Michelle's post supports this. Everyone has a different story. Is that an excuse? Maybe, but that is NOT for you or any of us here to decide. I'm in a unique situation here where the majority of our moms stay at home (foreign country, no work visa) and our meetings have a 30-50% attendance rate which is high compared to what I have seen posted here. We have our meetings during the day because when we scheduled them at night hardly anyone came AND that included the teachers. Understand that all the teachers' kids attend our school (perk of the job.) And, yes, I am a teacher, just not full-time here. I have learned a long time ago not to waste my time worrying about those parents who aren't at the meetings, don't volunteer or whatever. Focus on the ones who do, the new parents, and so on. It's reminds me of a question of "Do you start your meetings on time or wait for latecomers? If you wait, why? Why are you rewarding the latecomers instead of respecting those who came on time?" Appreciate those who are there! As an aside, you mentioned you teach children with special needs. I have several friends with children in these classes and sometimes they have focused so much on their children with medical problems and learning problems that they just need a break. The time their child is in school is that break. Look at the parents, look at their lives, their needs and please begin to understand that everyone's situation is DIFFERENT! :cool:
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