Have you seen your school PTA sign up sheet yet? Joined a committee or three? If you have, you may be dreading the chirpy emails and notes left in backpacks that call you to action. If you haven't, you may be ducking your head in shame as the other moms look at you with disdain as you scoot out the door instead of hanging out to monitor the hall.
If you're a full-time working mom, have another child at home, or just have too much on your home life plate -- volunteering at your child's school can be nearly impossible. So how do you avoid the call of the PTA, while still looking like you give a damn?
Here are three solid methods:
Go to Every Other PTA Meeting
Rather than showing up at every meeting and declining a committee, show up regularly, but not reliably. This shows that you have too much on your plate, but you are interested in doing what you can. Which is nothing.
Go Big on the Holidays
Make sure you know exactly how many kids, teachers, and aides spend time in your child's classroom and get their names as well. So when Valentine's Day comes around you've got a personalized card for each and every body. For your child's birthday, make plenty of cupcakes so the other home room teachers can sneak in and grab one, and drop off a Halloween treat in everyone's bag. Yes, this is like bribery. And yes, everyone will have warm fuzzy feelings towards you even if they don't see you any other time of year.
Prepare for the Parent/Teacher Conference as if It Were the SATs
Before you have the sit-downs with your child's teacher, do your homework. Make sure you know what areas are most challenging and most delightful for your child. Talk to your child about what they like about your teacher, and be sure and bring it up. Ask your child's teacher what you can be doing at home to facilitate a more effective learning environment. And for Pete's sake, show up at least five minutes early for the conference, and make sure both parents are in attendance.
Do you volunteer at your child's school, or avoid it all costs?
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