Tuesday, February 15, 2011

PTA Rant

For goodness sakes, if you're going to get offended, stop reading NOW!

But I just have to respond to KSL's article about "Are Schools Asking Too Much of Parents?"

I was so irritated over the article after the news last night!

I am personally struggling with PTA and volunteering and this just LIT my dry tinder.

The premise is that PTA's / School's are needing help and not getting it.

For example, a woman needed help with Mom's and Muffins and only had 2 committed volunteers.

They were going to have to resort to tougher tactics by making PHONE CALLS to ask for help.

The additional issue is that only the same handful of volunteers are ever helping.

I realize that when you are in the middle of being in charge, things feel the way that was presented in the article. 

But I think that some of those same old PTA ladies are to blame.

Yes, I've now offended you -- I'm sorry, but not.

Because sometimes when you aren't willing to CALL people and ask them to help, or take a chance on their skill set, you are closing yourself off to be in that same little group.

My personal journey this year has been one of asking to help, repeatedly, and being turned down, repeatedly. 

I can only assume that the job I do for PTA has not been 'good enough' and they are turning me away.

I went and got a job -- where they do appreciate what I do, and do accept my help.

I can readily give you names of other mom's who try to help, were made to feel inadequate and no longer help.

And I'm not being passive about this -- I have worked hard to volunteer, to try to fit in, to feel good about myself by giving service, to show my children I care by being there.  But there are just some moms who make you feel like crap.  And then they complain that they are the only ones doing stuff.


I realize that these mom's are good people, doing good things, wanting to help.  And I realize that they are oblivious to what they are doing. 

But you're kidding yourself if I'm going to take them on and tell them what they are doing.  These moms can be a little high strung.

And I know that several of you readers will think I'm the pot calling the kettle black.  But I really do try to accept all help offered, make people feel like they belong and help them feel good about themselves.  I know I don't always succeed either.

I think we all just need to realize that people want to be included. 

I think we all need to realize that there will always be someone else to take our spot when we need to step down.  Maybe there will be some interim chaos, but that's okay.  The next group of ladies need to learn and feel important too.

And I think that we should realize that being at every activity and being the sole supporter of that event does NOT mean you love your kid AND my kid more!

Thank you for the opportunity to rant, and I'm sorry if I offended . . . . .


Shauna said...

Wendy...that is a terrific post. And I sincerely hope that I have not been the black kettle or in need of the pot.

But I applaud your posting--in light of my recent personal blogging faux pa I have steered myself away from writing anything (regardless of how I really feel about it) to keep from offending anyone with my opinion. SOmeday, I'd like to grow up and be like you in this area (among others).

Jewels and Ry said...

Move to Oklahoma and I will put you to work. I teach in a high poverty school and I had 2 parents help for the Christmas party and 1 showed up (not help) for the Valentine's party. That is it. Hopefully, I will have enough parents be able to chaperone the fieldtrip in May.

Some of my ward members have helped a bit by coming to listen to kids read. In three years, I have yet to have another person make a single copy for me. I did have one working mom who cut out some lamination for me that I sent home with her daughter.

Try again next year and talk directly with the teacher. More than likely, she has work she needs help with.


Melanee said...

Wendy- I hear your pain. I am very familiar with that feeling, especially at the 2 schools in your area. It's honestly made me not want to help in areas I moved to. I know this is bad, I tried to make changes within myself and within the system. It's just as aggravating to the many moms that I talked to about it and they all told me I was wasting my time trying to fix it. I just needed to "go with the flow". I actually lost good friends over it. It's too bad it is that way. I wish all those luck in handling it (unlike me). And send my apologies to those that still try to help and are turned down.

Kr!sty said...

Whew! I certainly hope I am not "one of those people" who has made you feel less than! I have genuinely tried to help at the school and not be offended/let down/hurt by others and/or their efforts. It's a hard job giving your time for free, and especially when you don't feel like it's appreciated. I'm not sure if this comment has anything to do with your real feelings, but I am sorry if I hurt or offended you in school volunteer terms. <3