I tend to be a joiner and, just maybe, a little bit of a control freak. When I attended the introduction meeting for my son's new elementary school in May I stayed around for the PTO meeting to see what it was about. I went into this determined to be only a distant participant, volunteering perhaps to bring muffins or cookies to bake sales from time to time but not committing to anything (a lesson I learned a long time ago). The meeting opened my eyes to the PTO and how effective they are at getting things done within the school. I learned that my child, while attending this school, will never have to sell anything. I learned that the PTO is board-driven and, as such, the only people with a vote are those that are actually on the board. The last little tidbit made my heart skip a beat. What? No vote? I can't just attend the meetings, give my feedback and raise my hand at vote time? It took me all of .5 seconds to decide that I HAD to get on the board. So much for no commitment.
During the course of the meeting, next year's PTO president mentioned that there was one position that needed to be filled by a Kindergarten parent: a Kindergarten liaison. Sounds simple enough right? I knew it was mine. I asked a ton of questions during the meeting (control freak anyone?) and got up immediately after it was finished and handed my card to the president, offering to be the Liaison, thus cinching my right to vote and be heard. I wasn't sure if I "got" the position until yesterday when I received a call from the PTO president. She welcomed me to the group and told me that the first activity was a teacher breakfast on Monday. She asked me if I could bring something to the school at 7:30am. 7:30AM! Geez. What have I gotten myself into? All of this so I can exert some level of control of the decisions made by my son's Parent/Teacher Organization. Was it worth it? That all depends on whether I am voting on parade floats or technology upgrades for my son's classrooms. The next 10 months will reveal the answer to this question. I'll keep you posted.