These #ptolife Photos Tell It Like It Is

These #ptolife Photos Tell It Like It Is

No one ever said volunteering would be glamorous. PTO leaders show what parent group life looks like in the trenches.



#ptolife often means getting your kids involved in volunteering at an early age.


Who says PTO volunteers have to be grownups? Jamie D. puts her kids to work hauling color run supplies to school.


PTO kids do what they have to do. This little one is settled in with a tablet while Mom works in the holiday shop. Photo submitted by Karyne U.


When Mom is in the PTO, you take naps wherever you can get them. Photo submitted by Elizabeth B.


Sometimes you need the whole family to pitch in with the paperwork, like Julie M.’s kids do.


Other times, you spend too much time on parent group work and not enough keeping up with your child's own school paperwork. Julie F.'s son delivered this note from his teacher, with the news that he was the only student without a photo in his class. She hashtagged the photo #winningasapresidentbutfailingasamom.


Nikki W. shared this photo of a thank-you card that makes it all worthwhile. (Aww!)



#ptolife occasionally means that your pets get a little too involved in parent group business.


These 6-month-old puppies made quick work of the notes Dyanne G. took at a meeting of her PTO's fundraising committee.


This Australian Shepherd helps his mom count box tops. Helene C. reports that he may have eaten a few, but he's a good companion, nonetheless.


Can you find the dog in this photo? This four-legged friend doesn't look too happy that Mary H.'s living room has been taken over by book fair inventory.


As Alicia D. fills her car with hay for the fall festival, her loyal dog is on hand to supervise and a horse monitors the situation.


On the Home Front

#ptolife sometimes means having parent group items take over any spare space you have in your house.


If your dining table looks something like this, you might be a PTO volunteer. Karen A. sent this photo of open house and bulletin board decorations in progress.


"Anyone else have to label their PTO things so their actual family doesn't get in them!?!" Elexis B. asked when sharing this photo of PTO snacks stored at home. Let's hope her family got the message!


Ever had to PTO while trying to catch up on TV? It’s how Destiny H. got through finishing her welcome packets.


This is what it looked like at Sara B.’s house when the holiday season and the spiritwear sale overlapped.


When every available seat is covered with spiritwear, Agatha P. has no choice but to stand.


This used to be Dawn D.’s spare bedroom. Now it’s a PTA donation staging area.


On the Go

#ptolife might mean taking multitasking to a new level.


“Do you PTA/PTO/PTL everywhere or is it just me?” wrote Gina C. when she posted this photo of herself at the hair salon. It’s definitely not just you, Gina....


PTO leaders have to squeeze in a few minutes of work where they can, even if that’s poolside during summer break. (This leader gave us permission to share her photo, but asked to remain anonymous.)


The kids were in three-day-weekend mode, but Heather M. was still in PTO mode. “Even on a gorgeous Memorial Day evening, there is still PTO work to be done,” she wrote. “At least I could do it outside in the fresh air.”


Special Deliveries

#ptolife can involve filling every nook and cranny of your minivan with items for school.


Stacy S. sent this snapshot of her minivan stuffed with 100 swag bags for school staff members during Teacher Appreciation Week.


This may look like a huge trash haul, but those garbage bags actually contain more than 1,000 smaller bags of movie theater popcorn! Photo submitted by Sara M.


“Hungry right now is the understatement of the month,” Alanna L. wrote on her photo showing dozens of doughnuts in her car to be delivered to school.


New Experiences

#ptolife sometimes means finding yourself in the oddest situations.


“Nothing to see here. Just a PTO mom pushing a large trash can to school so the 5th graders can store their recess equipment. Toooootally normal,” wrote Sarah B. of this photo.


Torrie M. snapped a selfie in a chicken costume before wearing it to school to help kick off a product fundraiser.


When you’re the PTSO president you can’t have any shame, according to Amber B. She wore this inflatable donut to promote Donuts with Dudes.


“You know you’re a PTA nerd when people put box tops in your Christmas card,” Brina C. wrote. That’s what we call a good friend!

Originally posted in 2018 and updated regularly.

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