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Old 09-29-2013, 12:07 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by aprilgail2 View Post
I would have agreed with the principal- a PTA is supposed to only do things that benefit ALL the children- they can't give to one group and not the other. Putting in those things would only be benefitting the sports kids and I would have been reporting that to council (if it was a pta and not a pto) before they even got started! PTA used to pay for the 5th grade trip but that got squashed because it was not benefitting all the kids, only the 5th graders.
The elementary school by my house got caught in a legal issue when they got fed up with the condition of their school. They got paint donated to paint the entire school, and there were a number of painting contractors willing to volunteer to come in an supervise the parents to paint the entire school in a weekend. But the school districts contract with their staff painters said only those painters could paint the school.
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Old 09-29-2013, 04:01 PM   #17
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Any PTA's out there have principals that simply do not appreciate your efforts? Ours likes to pretend she is supportive, but we all can see right through the baloney. She even went so far as to come to an end-of-year lunch and announce, "Well I have to get back to work. I have a REAL job". Our school is rated "A" but I honestly think it's more the teachers and their dedication AND the parents who care that make it an A.
That's an obnoxious comment, and there's really no excuse for that.

Having said that, as a teacher/administrator, I have mixed feelings about the PTA at most schools where I've worked. Sometimes, I've seen them do great work, and other times, I've seen them be very divisive elements in a school community, and allocate their funds in ways that are actually harmful.

To give you some examples: I used to work at a school for children with special needs that started a PTA. The new PTA worked hard for fundraising, and came up with an impressive amount of money. With no input from the teaching staff, they chose to spend it on beautiful glass display cabinets to house the student's artwork. Sounds great, but they put those beautiful cabinets in the one open space in the building. All that glass meant that it was no longer safe to use that space for indoor recess, team building activities, physical therapy etc . . . , because we were constantly worried about a child with coordination issues falling or running into all that glass. A space that had been used day in and day out, was turned to an unused "museum" type space. Meanwhile, as parents donated to the PTA, their donations to the school's (it was a private school) annual fund and capital campaigns fell. Things that we had been hoping to provide with that money had to be eliminated from the budget. Finally, the PTA had, as it often does, a very divisive impact on the parent body. Many parents felt obligated to attend the meeting because those who didn't were judged, but it made it hard to find field trip chaperones or field day volunteers, because parents had already used up so much time off on meetings. Other parents, who chose not to participate in the meetings were isolated and what had been a well knit community began to divide into cliques.

Is it always that bad? No, I've seen PTAs do good things too, but PTAs can be very mixed bags.

I will also say that those end of the year "teacher appreciation lunches" drive me nuts. They always come at a time when we're up to our eyeballs with work, and they expect everything to come to a stop so we can eat a few salads and listen to talks about how much we're appreciated. If you really appreciate the work I do, then let me do it. Serve a boxed lunch, if you want, or offer a buffet in the cafeteria that we can go and grab something from, but please don't take our precious work time to expect us to sit at decorated tables and listen to you tell us how important the work we aren't doing is.
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Old 09-29-2013, 04:44 PM   #18
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That's an obnoxious comment, and there's really no excuse for that.

Having said that, as a teacher/administrator, I have mixed feelings about the PTA at most schools where I've worked. Sometimes, I've seen them do great work, and other times, I've seen them be very divisive elements in a school community, and allocate their funds in ways that are actually harmful.

To give you some examples: I used to work at a school for children with special needs that started a PTA. The new PTA worked hard for fundraising, and came up with an impressive amount of money. With no input from the teaching staff, they chose to spend it on beautiful glass display cabinets to house the student's artwork. Sounds great, but they put those beautiful cabinets in the one open space in the building. All that glass meant that it was no longer safe to use that space for indoor recess, team building activities, physical therapy etc . . . , because we were constantly worried about a child with coordination issues falling or running into all that glass. A space that had been used day in and day out, was turned to an unused "museum" type space. Meanwhile, as parents donated to the PTA, their donations to the school's (it was a private school) annual fund and capital campaigns fell. Things that we had been hoping to provide with that money had to be eliminated from the budget. Finally, the PTA had, as it often does, a very divisive impact on the parent body. Many parents felt obligated to attend the meeting because those who didn't were judged, but it made it hard to find field trip chaperones or field day volunteers, because parents had already used up so much time off on meetings. Other parents, who chose not to participate in the meetings were isolated and what had been a well knit community began to divide into cliques.

Is it always that bad? No, I've seen PTAs do good things too, but PTAs can be very mixed bags.

I will also say that those end of the year "teacher appreciation lunches" drive me nuts. They always come at a time when we're up to our eyeballs with work, and they expect everything to come to a stop so we can eat a few salads and listen to talks about how much we're appreciated. If you really appreciate the work I do, then let me do it. Serve a boxed lunch, if you want, or offer a buffet in the cafeteria that we can go and grab something from, but please don't take our precious work time to expect us to sit at decorated tables and listen to you tell us how important the work we aren't doing is.
Wow I am so glad the two prinicipals I have worked closely with have not felt this way.
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Old 09-29-2013, 04:52 PM   #19
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Wow I am so glad the two prinicipals I have worked closely with have not felt this way.
Hopefully because you listen to their concerns rather than imposing your ideas on them, and accusing them of "dictating".
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Old 09-29-2013, 04:58 PM   #20
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That's an obnoxious comment, and there's really no excuse for that. Having said that, as a teacher/administrator, I have mixed feelings about the PTA at most schools where I've worked. Sometimes, I've seen them do great work, and other times, I've seen them be very divisive elements in a school community, and allocate their funds in ways that are actually harmful. To give you some examples: I used to work at a school for children with special needs that started a PTA. The new PTA worked hard for fundraising, and came up with an impressive amount of money. With no input from the teaching staff, they chose to spend it on beautiful glass display cabinets to house the student's artwork. Sounds great, but they put those beautiful cabinets in the one open space in the building. All that glass meant that it was no longer safe to use that space for indoor recess, team building activities, physical therapy etc . . . , because we were constantly worried about a child with coordination issues falling or running into all that glass. A space that had been used day in and day out, was turned to an unused "museum" type space. Meanwhile, as parents donated to the PTA, their donations to the school's (it was a private school) annual fund and capital campaigns fell. Things that we had been hoping to provide with that money had to be eliminated from the budget. Finally, the PTA had, as it often does, a very divisive impact on the parent body. Many parents felt obligated to attend the meeting because those who didn't were judged, but it made it hard to find field trip chaperones or field day volunteers, because parents had already used up so much time off on meetings. Other parents, who chose not to participate in the meetings were isolated and what had been a well knit community began to divide into cliques. Is it always that bad? No, I've seen PTAs do good things too, but PTAs can be very mixed bags. I will also say that those end of the year "teacher appreciation lunches" drive me nuts. They always come at a time when we're up to our eyeballs with work, and they expect everything to come to a stop so we can eat a few salads and listen to talks about how much we're appreciated. If you really appreciate the work I do, then let me do it. Serve a boxed lunch, if you want, or offer a buffet in the cafeteria that we can go and grab something from, but please don't take our precious work time to expect us to sit at decorated tables and listen to you tell us how important the work we aren't doing is.
We always hold our PTA meetings (one a month) in the evening, so more people can come and we don't interrupt the school day. We also provide dinner & child care. We do everything in our power to make sure those who want to come, can. As for the cliques - I've heard that complaint a lot and I can see how it can be seen that way (and sometimes, it probably is true), but it's not fair to expect a small group of people who work together day in and day out, not to be come close. Some of my best friends are moms I've met through PTA because we spend so much time together. It doesn't mean we won't welcome somebody in, though.

Our staff appreciation luncheon is exactly as you describe - a buffet lunch on a minimum day (11:45 dismissal) in the last month of school. Staff is welcome to grab & go and some do, although most of them stay. And except for setting up, cleaning up & serving if necessary, the PTA volunteers stay out of the luncheon. Two weeks later, the staff does exactly the same for us. It seems to work nicely.
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Old 09-29-2013, 05:21 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Mickey'snewestfan View Post
That's an obnoxious comment, and there's really no excuse for that.

Having said that, as a teacher/administrator, I have mixed feelings about the PTA at most schools where I've worked. Sometimes, I've seen them do great work, and other times, I've seen them be very divisive elements in a school community, and allocate their funds in ways that are actually harmful.

To give you some examples: I used to work at a school for children with special needs that started a PTA. The new PTA worked hard for fundraising, and came up with an impressive amount of money. With no input from the teaching staff, they chose to spend it on beautiful glass display cabinets to house the student's artwork. Sounds great, but they put those beautiful cabinets in the one open space in the building. All that glass meant that it was no longer safe to use that space for indoor recess, team building activities, physical therapy etc . . . , because we were constantly worried about a child with coordination issues falling or running into all that glass. A space that had been used day in and day out, was turned to an unused "museum" type space. Meanwhile, as parents donated to the PTA, their donations to the school's (it was a private school) annual fund and capital campaigns fell. Things that we had been hoping to provide with that money had to be eliminated from the budget. Finally, the PTA had, as it often does, a very divisive impact on the parent body. Many parents felt obligated to attend the meeting because those who didn't were judged, but it made it hard to find field trip chaperones or field day volunteers, because parents had already used up so much time off on meetings. Other parents, who chose not to participate in the meetings were isolated and what had been a well knit community began to divide into cliques.

Is it always that bad? No, I've seen PTAs do good things too, but PTAs can be very mixed bags.

I will also say that those end of the year "teacher appreciation lunches" drive me nuts. They always come at a time when we're up to our eyeballs with work, and they expect everything to come to a stop so we can eat a few salads and listen to talks about how much we're appreciated. If you really appreciate the work I do, then let me do it. Serve a boxed lunch, if you want, or offer a buffet in the cafeteria that we can go and grab something from, but please don't take our precious work time to expect us to sit at decorated tables and listen to you tell us how important the work we aren't doing is.



I have many friends who are teachers and they all feel the exact same way!!!!!
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Old 09-29-2013, 05:50 PM   #22
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Thank goodness all of our principals have always been with us!! We asked what they needed, we raised money for it and bought it.

Now our Athletics boosters....yikes.
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Old 09-29-2013, 09:01 PM   #23
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We always hold our PTA meetings (one a month) in the evening, so more people can come and we don't interrupt the school day. We also provide dinner & child care. We do everything in our power to make sure those who want to come, can. As for the cliques - I've heard that complaint a lot and I can see how it can be seen that way (and sometimes, it probably is true), but it's not fair to expect a small group of people who work together day in and day out, not to be come close. Some of my best friends are moms I've met through PTA because we spend so much time together. It doesn't mean we won't welcome somebody in, though.

Our staff appreciation luncheon is exactly as you describe - a buffet lunch on a minimum day (11:45 dismissal) in the last month of school. Staff is welcome to grab & go and some do, although most of them stay. And except for setting up, cleaning up & serving if necessary, the PTA volunteers stay out of the luncheon. Two weeks later, the staff does exactly the same for us. It seems to work nicely.

Sounds like a great example of a place where the PTA works well. As I said, I've seen it work both ways, as well as somewhere in between. I was just giving an example of a situation in which it didn't work.
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Old 09-29-2013, 10:09 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Mickey'snewestfan View Post
That's an obnoxious comment, and there's really no excuse for that.

Having said that, as a teacher/administrator, I have mixed feelings about the PTA at most schools where I've worked. Sometimes, I've seen them do great work, and other times, I've seen them be very divisive elements in a school community, and allocate their funds in ways that are actually harmful.

To give you some examples: I used to work at a school for children with special needs that started a PTA. The new PTA worked hard for fundraising, and came up with an impressive amount of money. With no input from the teaching staff, they chose to spend it on beautiful glass display cabinets to house the student's artwork. Sounds great, but they put those beautiful cabinets in the one open space in the building. All that glass meant that it was no longer safe to use that space for indoor recess, team building activities, physical therapy etc . . . , because we were constantly worried about a child with coordination issues falling or running into all that glass. A space that had been used day in and day out, was turned to an unused "museum" type space. Meanwhile, as parents donated to the PTA, their donations to the school's (it was a private school) annual fund and capital campaigns fell. Things that we had been hoping to provide with that money had to be eliminated from the budget. Finally, the PTA had, as it often does, a very divisive impact on the parent body. Many parents felt obligated to attend the meeting because those who didn't were judged, but it made it hard to find field trip chaperones or field day volunteers, because parents had already used up so much time off on meetings. Other parents, who chose not to participate in the meetings were isolated and what had been a well knit community began to divide into cliques.

Is it always that bad? No, I've seen PTAs do good things too, but PTAs can be very mixed bags.

I will also say that those end of the year "teacher appreciation lunches" drive me nuts. They always come at a time when we're up to our eyeballs with work, and they expect everything to come to a stop so we can eat a few salads and listen to talks about how much we're appreciated. If you really appreciate the work I do, then let me do it. Serve a boxed lunch, if you want, or offer a buffet in the cafeteria that we can go and grab something from, but please don't take our precious work time to expect us to sit at decorated tables and listen to you tell us how important the work we aren't doing is.
This is a very interesting perspective! We provide lunch quarterly for the teachers - a buffet in their lounge where we set it up and then return for clean-up. The end of the year tends to be a larger set-up after school with something fun thrown in - Cupcake Wars one year, Minute to Win It one year, and Let's Make a Deal last year. The teachers seemed to honestly like it, but maybe we should discuss scaling back and just providing another buffet during school. But then I worry we will be accused of not supporting the teachers and taking away something they enjoy. You just can't win.

But when you have a principal who can't keep a president longer than a year, who tells the staff one thing and the parents another, and who seems to have this undeniable disdain for the PTA group, it is a trickle-down effect. Oh well, I do it for the kids - we provide many opportunities for them, we help out where needed, and it's really all about the kids anyway. Principal can suck it.
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Old 09-29-2013, 11:09 PM   #25
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My guess is most of the staff are eagerly awaiting the day that principal goes somewhere else, as well.
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Old 09-29-2013, 11:32 PM   #26
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Any PTA's out there have principals that simply do not appreciate your efforts? Ours likes to pretend she is supportive, but we all can see right through the baloney. She even went so far as to come to an end-of-year lunch and announce, "Well I have to get back to work. I have a REAL job". Our school is rated "A" but I honestly think it's more the teachers and their dedication AND the parents who care that make it an A.
yup.

Last year our PTA president quit over having to deal with the principal. And the rest of the board went to the school board to complain, ending in mediation.

However, that said, the PTA was completely overstepping their bounds in trying to control the money they raised. They were trying to blackmail the teachers by telling them they had to do things the way their little group wanted it done or no money. They were trying to control curriculum, field trips, etc.

Many parents were just as angry with this group of women as they thought it was ridiculous the power trip this group of women was on.

It was a mess on both ends.
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Old 09-30-2013, 09:20 AM   #27
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yup.

Last year our PTA president quit over having to deal with the principal. And the rest of the board went to the school board to complain, ending in mediation.

However, that said, the PTA was completely overstepping their bounds in trying to control the money they raised. They were trying to blackmail the teachers by telling them they had to do things the way their little group wanted it done or no money. They were trying to control curriculum, field trips, etc.

Many parents were just as angry with this group of women as they thought it was ridiculous the power trip this group of women was on.

It was a mess on both ends.
Well, I think the PTA/O should be more than just fundraising. That's one of the things that turned me off to it completely. Ours is just all fundraising all the time and has no involvement beyond forking over money to the school administration.
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Old 09-30-2013, 11:19 PM   #28
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Well, I think the PTA/O should be more than just fundraising. That's one of the things that turned me off to it completely. Ours is just all fundraising all the time and has no involvement beyond forking over money to the school administration.
But in this time of severe budget cuts and education lacking in EVERYTHING, isn't that a good thing? When schools are lacking technology, isn't it ok if the PTA fundraises in order to provide children with tools for success? As long as everyone is on the same page on how it should be spent anyway...
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:00 AM   #29
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Well, I think the PTA/O should be more than just fundraising. That's one of the things that turned me off to it completely. Ours is just all fundraising all the time and has no involvement beyond forking over money to the school administration.
Ours is a combination of fundraising and social/community building activities.
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