Will you make it clear that their questions are tiresome? Will you hastily dismiss their "new" ideas (that you've had in the past) and discourage them?

I hope not, but that's what a lot of us PTO and PTA old-timers tend to do (often unknowingly) when we first deal with these new parents. It's a great way to turn off the fresh, enthusiastic volunteers you most need.

I tried to capture this dynamic -- and also some of the mistakes that new parents make in jumping in too aggressively -- in a column I wrote last year called "A Tale of Two Volunteers". I think this is a great time of year to bring it back out. I hope you'll share it with your fellow leaders as a reminder of the mistakes we should try to avoid this summer and next fall.