The Teacher is Talking: Guest Blog–Why You Should Support the PTA

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By Leslie Lindsay

Well, here it is Wednesday and I am  just now turning in my homework.  If I were a real student with a real teacher, the teacher would be reprimanding me for turning in my homework a day late.  Sorry.  I don’t know what it is about Tuesdays that makes it so hard for me to get to the computer and blast out a blog.  Well, actually I do.  It’s that I have about 50 million things I want to do and have to do, so I try to do them all.  Sigh…

And now, another faux pas as I am having  someone else do my homework today.  That’s right another guest blog.  This one is all about why parents should join the PTA.  I am a member (but gosh darn it, haven’t gotten to a meeting yet).  I don’t know if my membership has given me anything but braggin’ rights, but well…here goes.  This one is from www.babysitter.net  The original article just “aired” on Halloween, 10-31-11.  You can find it at: http://www.babysitters.net/blog/why-parents-should-support-their-local-pta/

Why Parents Should Support Their Local PTA

October 31st, 2011

Concerns about public schools are much in the news, in recent times. Politicians, business leaders, college admissions officials, and academic researchers, have much to say about the quality, or lack thereof, of teaching methods and subject matter. How can a concerned parent make sense of it all and judge whether their child is receiving a proper education?

In the middle of it all, ignored by many and supported by not nearly enough, are local Parent-Teacher Associations. Local PTAs can and should be a valuable resource for any parent with questions, concerns, or ideas about how their children should be taught and cared for by schools.

Got Questions?

If you want to know how your school compares academically with local, state, and national standards, your local PTA can provide that information for you. If you have specific questions about how your child’s classroom operates, and what teaching resources your child’s teachers have available to them, your local PTA can help you obtain the answers you are looking for.

Your local PTA will be happy to provide informational materials, as well as offering you an ear for specific questions about curriculum and available services that you feel are not being addressed adequately by school administrators.

Got Complaints?

All local Parent-Teacher Associations have members that focus on parent concerns about teachers and/or classroom activities. Quite often, these concerns turn out to be based on misconceptions about classroom activities or one-sided reports from students to parents. If, after attempting to raise an issue with a teacher or administrator, a parent still feels the issue is not being properly dealt with, the local PTA can act as arbitrator or information collector in helping to find solutions.

Got Ideas?

If you think that you have ideas that would benefit your school’s ability to educate the kids in your community, the local PTA is a great place to bring your ideas for discussion. As a group, teachers are eager to hear any ideas you may have about helping them work better with your children. A local PTA gives you direct access to teachers ears, whether your ideas are about general teaching or specific issues with teaching your child.

This is, in fact, the major reasons that PTAs were created; to help teachers and parents work together in answering each other’s questions and addressing the education needs of students.

Got Time?

If you have even a few hours per month that you can devote to increasing the quality and responsiveness of your community’s schools, consider volunteering with the local PTA. I’ve heard other parents speak of Parent-Teacher Associations as if they are purely teacher’s advocacy organizations. That’s not the case. Teachers have unions for that sort of thing. PTAs are set up to foster connections between teachers and parents, to address issues of concern and improve the ability of both parents and teachers to help students achieve and grow.

As a parent, you have the opportunity and ability to get in there and be part of the solutions that help both teachers and other parents understand, improve, and grow in their ability to give students the best possible education. Don’t ignore your local PTA. Support it, join it, help it grow and be as effective as possible in this critical and difficult endeavor.

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