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We asked our Facebook community what they wish they’d known before becoming a PTO leader. Here’s what they had to say.


The first year is the hardest, but it does get easier. You need to trust that your chairpeople will do their jobs, and do not micromanage. —Peggy C.

It’s all worth it when you see small, smiling faces and hear the sound of their laughter. —Kim B.

How much my volunteering affects all those kids! And how easy it really is to step out of your comfort zone and be a leader. And how awesome volunteering makes me feel. —Heidi R.

Learning to have tough skin and not to take things personally. —Amanda S.

All the know-how you need to be an effective and successful parent group leader!

I wish I would have known how much of a difference I would be making! I think if more people knew what a huge difference they can make by being on the PTO maybe more people would sign on! —Jamie A.

I learned that I had to do it for [things to get] done and learned to just deal with it! Love my kids too much for them to have anything less! —Andrea U.

The number of parents who have no experience volunteering and the need to start orienting parents to PTO while they are in preschool. —Pauline M.

Don’t ever “force” someone into accepting a position who doesn’t want one! It’s OK. Let them go. Find a new volunteer. —Tara L.

How hard it is going to be to leave. I will miss all the interactions with the staff and students. It will be a very tearful day in June! —Karen W.

I never expected some of my fellow PTO members to become some of my dearest friends. Or that teachers my kids don’t have would also become such dear friends. —Rachel C.

How rewarding the “job” would be. If I had known sooner how great it would feel knowing I was contributing and making a difference, I would have started sooner! —Marilyn M.

Originally posted in 2014 and updated regularly.

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