Betsy Landers

Betsy occupies the highest office in PTA as National PTA President. Landers is quick to point out that the real power of PTA lies at the local level and plans to make a “back to basics” approach cornerstone of her tenure as National PTA President. read bio

How to Make a Difference in Your Child’s School

Teachers and school administrators the world over agree: parental involvement is a major factor in a child’s educational success, and plays a significant role in the overall health and quality of a school community. For super-busy parents, this may sound daunting. How in the world can you fit in one more thing? These tips can help you.

1.  Play to Your Strengths. Not every mom is a whiz in the kitchen, and not every mom is well-suited to gathering little  ones on a class field trip. But you may be an event planning and organizational guru who could help put together and publicize school functions to increase involvement. You may be a creative type who could help the art teacher prepare for certain projects. Respond to talent and interest surveys that your school may send home to connect yourself with the task that’s best-suited to your schedule and skills. If no such survey exists, encourage your school administration to use one to maximize parent volunteer power.

2.  Play By the Rules. When serving as a school volunteer, follow all policies regarding safety, confidentiality, etc. If you disagree with a particular rule, make sure you follow the proper channels to get information about why it’s in place. Odds are, once you ask, you’ll learn that there’s a very valid reason.

3.  Collaborate with Other Parents. Whether it’s at a PTA meeting or informally at a class program, share ideas with other moms about ways to strengthen the school and provide more opportunities for your children. Often, these informal exchanges are where great ideas are born.

4.  Work Outside School Hours. If you’re a working mom who can’t take off the job to serve on campus during the school day, there are likely needs you could meet at other times, or from home. Your teacher may need back-stage or ushering help on the evening of the class play, or there may be work that you could complete at home as time allows.

5.  Continue classic traditions.. If you are that cupcake-baking dynamo, by all means--shine! Providing class treats on special occasions or assisting in the classroom are still valuable and necessary ways of supporting your child’s teacher and making the classroom experience even better for your child.


Related Resource: Parental Involvement: The Secret Ingredient to School Success

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