Have you ever had the experience where your child asked you to paint their bedroom and you said “No,” because it’s way too much work? Your child said, “But I want to help.” Of course anyone who has painted a room knows what is REALLY involved in painting a room is the following:
Now, what your child thinks is involved in painting a room is buying paint and rolling it on the wall, which are really the only two parts of painting a room that are even remotely fun, and don’t take much time. A lot of these steps can be divided up between different people, but it comes down to one person really coordinating it all. Just think, if the person who said they would do the edging (I HATE edging) doesn’t do it, someone else has to do it because you can’t complete the job unless the edging gets done. Or, if someone else says they’ll buy the supplies and they forget the tape, you can’t even start!
But WOW, once the room is finished, isn’t it a great feeling to step back and look at how great the room looks and think, “I did that.”?
I’m using this analogy to describe a lot of the Events, Fundraisers and Programs that the Plumb Elementary PTA puts on for the school every year. Some of our functions are less work than painting a room and can be done by one or two people (Chick Fil-A Spirit Nights, Skating Parties, Merchandise, Communications or Membership). Others might be suited for three or four people (“Reflections”, Family Social). Some are a lot more work than painting a room, and require the effort of a lot of people, with one or two people coordinating (“Fun Fest”, 5th Grade Celebration).
Our PTA Board had been shrinking over the last few years, and there are a very few people that have been doing the work of many, by holding several Board positions, or pieces of smaller ones. Part of this might be because I am more of a “do everything from beginning to end” type of person, so I’ve never really been the greatest at delegating (since most of the people I have to delegate TO are already doing several other things), or managing others, or recruiting.
Maybe it’s because everyone is just too busy, or afraid to commit. Maybe they don’t get along with someone on the Board, can’t make the meetings, or have a child that struggles with their homework for two hours every night.
I don’t really know the reason. There are probably many. Unfortunately, I hate to say it, Plumb is in danger of not having a PTA at all next year. It’s not that NO one wants to help, it’s just that most people want to show up, roll paint on the walls and go home, and we need those people, too.
What inevitably WILL happen is we are going to hear, “What happened to the PTA this year?” or, “Why don’t we do _______anymore” or, “We were really disappointed this year.” My all-time favorite is the soul-crushing “It’s so sad, Plumb is just not the school it used to be.” That last one really gets me – I love Plumb and I think it’s an incredible school with amazing teachers. I certainly hope people aren’t feeling sorry for us.
I promise the intent of this blog was not to complain that we are overworked. I really just want everyone to know that if you just take on ONE position for a few years, stick to that ONE position for a year or two, maybe bring a friend to do it with you, it really is not that much of a commitment.
Five years ago I never imagined doing the things I’ve accomplished on this PTA Board. You’ll be amazed at what you learn, the incredible people you will meet, the example you will set for your children, how much the school appreciates what we do, and how you will grow as a person. PLEASE consider taking on a Board position for next year.
And the best part is the feeling you get when you stand back and see at how great that room looks when the work is all done!
Plumb PTA President