Just a year ago, I was excitedly prattling to my daughter about kindergarten round-up, gearing her up for a grand new adventure. Despite the overwhelming emotions a mother feels over her first-born heading off to kindergarten, I had visions of parenting grandeur: volunteering in her classroom, chaperoning field trips, meeting all of her new friends and their parents, and lending a helping hand on the PTA.
But here I am, fewer than two months away from the end of her kindergarten school year and not one of those things have come to fruition.
To be fair, I work full time so it’s a little hard to volunteer in the classroom. And while I was asked to be a chaperone for the fall pumpkin patch field trip, it unfortunately got rescheduled twice due to rain and then finally canceled altogether. I’ve not met any classroom friends except as she waves bye to them on the few days I’ve picked her up from school. And lastly, there’s the PTA, which has perhaps been the biggest disappointment of all.
After filling out the PTA application — diligently checking the boxes in which I’d love to offer my assistance and sending in my $7 membership fee — I found myself expecting something, though I’m not sure exactly what. Somewhere along the way, I must have missed the memo that the PTA is actually a top-secret society that you have to be inducted into before they’ll let you attend their meetings because not a single meeting invitation or announcement has shown up in my inbox eight months later.
So color me surprised when I was surfing Facebook and a post appeared at the tops of my newsfeed announcing that the PTA meeting for that night had been canceled, as had the upcoming father-daughter dance. (Confession: these visions of grandeur parenting had actually caused me to follow and turn on notifications for the PTA Facebook page, which is probably the only reason I saw it to begin with.) As a paying PTA member, why didn’t I know there was supposed to be a PTA meeting that evening? Furthermore, why am I just now hearing about a father-daughter dance planned eight days away? I scrolled through the page timeline to see when I must have overlooked the announcement about the meeting and the dance, but nothing to be found. In fact, no posts had been made for two months.
I did what any civilized but concerned parent would do. I reached out to the PTA to offer my assistance, specifically with communications since it was apparently lacking and that happens to be my area of expertise/employment. While I don’t want to belittle the efforts of those who are serving on this top secret committee, I would like to briefly point out that:
- There is a link to a PTA website on their Facebook page that doesn’t exist.
- The County Schools website currently has PTA information on their website from the 2016-2017 school year.
- Nowhere on the Facebook Page or County Schools website can you actually find a list of those actually serving on the PTA board.
- Only after inquiring as to why I wasn’t receiving emails, I was told their primary methods of communication are the school marquee and sending flyers home in students’ backpacks.
So needless to say, there’s always room for improvement. In reaching out to the PTA, I kindly asked to receive an invite to the next meeting and said that I would love to get involved.
… (Please note the ellipsis, which is to indicate the radio silence I have received from the PTA for either assistance or notice of any meetings).
Lo and behold, do you know what popped up in my Newsfeed during spring break this week? An announcement of a rescheduled father-daughter dance eight days away. So by the time that flyer makes it way home via backpacks (given that it’s currently spring break), families will have FOUR DAYS of notice about an upcoming dance and that’s assuming a flyer actually makes it into the backpacks at all!