Tuesday, October 20, 2009

PTO: A Rant

Stopping my "One Month" series for the now. It will be a work in progress as I sort through feelings and questions concerning my mother's death.

Today, though, I am feeling strongly about the PTO. In short, I am annoyed. I understand that every week I'm going to receive a notice that I need to send money (or items) for this thing or that. Since the beginning of school, I've paid for lunches, sent 10 pounds of rice for my daughter to make a rice baby she couldn't even carry, apples for a pie. I've been subject to pleas to eat at Cici's one Monday a month because it's her school's night. I've been told (by her) that she "must" dress up for Career Day. I've sent candy for the Halloween carnival and recieved my bingo board-looking thing for the Box Tops. I've prepaid 50 tickets for the Halloween carnival even though I have no idea in the world how far those tickets will go. I know that Jump Rope for Heart is going on and they'd like me to get my friends and neighbors to contribute to this worthy cause. Just this very morning, I wrote a check for school pictures. Last month, I wrote a check for soccer pictures and very soon, I'll be paying for our family pictures. How many pictures/poses must I have at this stage of her life? She's not going to look drastically different from one month to the next, is she? But that is a totally separate rant.

I have even written a check to join the PTO and bought 2 t-shirts: one for me and one for Lily. With the other 3 kids at home, it's nearly impossible for me to volunteer in the classroom on any regular basis. Believe me, they don't need volunteers that bad. I definitely want to be supportive, but my other obligations do put me in a difficult position.

I expected that PTO meetings would take place after school hours so that a maximum number of parents can attend. And do teachers attend these things? Because when I received an email this weekend with meeting information, I began to realize that perhaps this wasn't the organization for me:

Hi Volunteers,

There will be a Oak Woods Carnival meeting on Monday, October 19th at 1pm.

Thank you,
[name omitted]
PTO Volunteer Coordinator K-2

And it's not just this meeting. They are all held during school hours! What if I were a working mother, with a "real" job? Is this how it is? Stay-at-home moms run the PTO and everyone else just tags along? Hmmmm, I'm not sure I'm up for that. I would like to attend the meetings, especially since I've already paid my money, but if they're going be completely inconvenient to me, then I'll just have to read the minutes of the meeting and continue to send the candy, buy the tickets, and do the things that I can do. But I'm annoyed. Seems like just another clique that I'm not a member of....


Marla said...

I can't wait till Avery goes to public school! That sounds awful!! I also want to be involved in Avery's school and I am frustrated that I cannot be involved since I have the 2 little ones at home. Avery does need little things here and there, but so far no big expenses. With all those expenses how will we afford to have 3-4 kids in school! It's like college has started already! Have you voiced your concern about the meeting times to the PTO Coordinator whomever they may be?

Januarie said...

So did you decide not to homeschool this year? Do you like it?

Georgia said...

The short version: I decided not to homeschool this year.

Januarie said...

Gotcha. Totally understand :)

The Milfords said...

What school is she attending? I am doing a lot at B's school, but not like you! Man!

shanon said...

It is never ending. But, take heart. Kindergarten is the most 'gimme gimme' grade. After that, we don't have time to do any of the fun stuff that needs you to send something. PTO does a lot for my school, but it is run by people who don't have jobs outside the home. They have meetings that I can't attend because I'm in the classroom with their children. I can't find out about my OWN kids' classes and what they're doing because of the timing. Our regular meetings are on one Tuesday night a month, but that is always a brief business meeting. The real work is done during the day when kids are out of parents' hair and in mine. Sucks. Forget it. Send what you CAN, ignore the rest. Your kid will be just fine, regardless.

Lindsay said...

Sounds like an organization that will take as much from you as you will give. It seems to me that you could give what you can, and feel good about, and let the rest go. I'm sure that's what everyone else does.

Anonymous said...

Take it from me...1 year i did not sell cookie dough..i completely ignored it.

This year i did it..had four people order from me(my child) and I crossed off my name.

Do not feel like you are obligated to sell or not sell..do what you feel comfortable with..I stay at home..but I do not have time fro it either...KAri