As I wrap up my freshman year as PTO president and prepare for my second term in office, I thought I would take a look at what it’s really like to be top dog at my daughter’s elementary school. BAHAHA! Clearly, I’m joking.
That’s one of the biggest misnomers about the position – that I have any real power. I say that in jest as I do recognize the importance of the PTO, but some people think I actually get a say in how the school is run. HILARIOUS!
I never set out to be PTO president. Being on the board wasn’t really even on my radar. During my daughter’s kindergarten year, I went to most of the PTO meetings as a parent attending an open meeting at the school just to observe and learn more about what is done. The next year I became Activities Director. At the end of the year, no one had stepped up to be president. Our bylaws state the president has to come from a member of the board and our president was stepping down. I had decided I wanted to take a different role on the board since I was already swamped as a Girl Scout leader as well. The other board members decided I was the best choice and the ass-kissing and begging began 🙂
What It’s Really Like Being PTO President
- It’s a high profile position. I kid you not. My husband thought I was joking when I told him I kept running into people while I was about town saying, “Oh, you’re the PTO president!” Until it happened while we were out together. His mind hole was visibly blown. Most of these people didn’t even have kids at our school! I mean, who are these people and why do they know who’s PTO president at a neighborhood elementary!? Just last week at the gym, a woman came up to me and said, “I recognize you! You’re the PTO lady!” And apparently, that will be how I am now known the rest of my days. 🤦♀️
- I do not have any say in how the school is run. A couple of different times this year, someone has experienced some issue of varying degree and said to themselves or their friend, “Don’t worry, I know the PTO president!” Um, say what now!? How is that going to help you!? Apparently, it comes to a shock to most people the principal doesn’t have a red phone in his office that will immediately connect him to me so we can delve into the real issues and solve the world’s problems together. God bless you for your faith and trust in my abilities, but I am not an educator nor do I have a degree in elementary education. I’m just a mom who’s basically a glorified cheerleader for the good of the school. And I’m proud to be that cheerleader! It just doesn’t come with any decision-making capabilities.
- I Get To Make Teacher’s Lives Easier. One of the greatest parts about being on the PTO board is that we fundraise to give teachers money! The teachers can apply for grants to ask for additional resources in their classroom. If they have a neat idea for something fun and educational that will get the kids excited about learning, they come to us and tell us their idea and we get to make it come true! It’s really awesome to see what some of these teachers have done.
- I Get To Be Involved In The School. I may not make decisions about what happens inside the school but through our activities and volunteer opportunities, I get a front row seat for everything that happens on the inside. I really feel like I get to be immersed in the school community which deepens my relationship with my daughter since this is where she spends most of her day.
- I Get to Know The Kids. Because I’m so involved in the school, the kids recognize me and get to know me. This may be one of the greatest gifts of all. Each of these young students is learning how they are going to become amazing adults and I get to see them evolve and one day will look at them and say “I remember when you were just a kindergartener! How are you 28!?” Oh, Lord help me for when that day comes, momma isn’t ready!
I’m really excited about my second year in office. I’m also really touched by how many people want to join the board next year! All of those interested were referrals from other board members which I accept as a compliment to how well I served as president.