Being PTA/PTO President is one of the biggest jobs out there for school parent volunteer organizations.
It can really consume your life, especially during the busiest time of the year, whether it be school sponsored events or PTO/PTA programs.
But smart Presidents get access to tools and resources that’ll make their job easier and more enjoyable.
So to save you a lot of time figuring out exactly what resources, tools and people Presidents need in their life, we’ll dive into that topic in this post.
Here are five things that every PTA/PTO President needs, no matter if they’re a new, never been one before President or a an experienced leader!
A support network
The first thing you need as PTO President is a good support network.
The job of PTO President is pretty taxing and can be pretty overwhelming.
Having other people in your same position to go to with questions and concerns is invaluable.
You’ll find no better resource for this than the PTA/PTO Super Star Leaders Facebook Group!
It’s filled with thousands of other leaders who are just like you- trying to be a better leader and run a stronger PTO.
Membership is free, so don’t wait to join!
The next thing all PTO Presidents absolutely must have is limits.
Limits on how much time you’ll spend on PTO stuff, to be exact.
Without limits, the time you devote to PTO stuff can be like a runaway train!
Schedule how much time you’ll spend doing PTO stuff so it doesn’t become a runaway train!
Look at your schedule for the week and decide how much time you can realistically devote to PTO work, while getting everything else you’re juggling done too.
The fastest way to end up burnt out and overwhelmed is to spend all week at school doing PTO stuff, and then come home to a disaster of a home!
That’s no way to be now, so make a plan for when you’ll do PTO work and stick to it.
The other truth is that there is pretty much always something to do to improve your PTO and it’ll never been 100% done.
So pace yourself and keep up with the other parts of your life!
The third recommended thing for all PTO Presidents to have is a sounding board.
If you don’t have someone in your life like this already, you need to get one ASAP!
It’s important to be able to vent to someone who knows and loves you no matter what.
And chances are, it won’t be your husband!
Because I’ll bet his answer to most of your complaints will be to suggest you quit.
And that’s not really what you need or want.
You just need to get stuff off of your chest and get it all out.
So find a good friend that you can vent everything out to!
Full Board and Committee Chairs
This next must have for all PTO Presidents is a no-brainer really.
Since it eases the pressure on the group leader a great deal.
All Presidents must have a fully staffed PTO Board and Committee Chairs.
It is very tempting to try to fill in the gaps by taking on the vacant roles yourself.
But that’s the wrong decision since that’s not the role of President, at all!
Remember, you are not the doer of all things. Not only is it impossible, but it will lead to burn out.
You will be so much happier at the end of the year if you work to fill any vacant roles with other volunteers.
If you have trouble filling to role, break the job into smaller parts.
Take the Fundraising Chair position.
This is a HUGE role and really hard to fill most times.
But the role doesn’t have to be filled by just one person.
You could have a committee take on the job or you could also break the position up into a few smaller roles.
One person could take on restaurant nights, another the Fall Fundraiser and the other the Spring fundraiser.
If you absolutely cannot find someone to take on the role, then consider if the role is actually needed.
Case in point, years ago, my PTA couldn’t fill the role of the school garden coordinator.
So we decided to let the garden to return to nature for the time being.
The very last thing that all PTO President’s must have, but perhaps the most important is an organized President’s Binder!
I’ve already talked about how much time is involved with running a PTO, so the last thing you need to deal with is not having resources right at your fingertips!
Check out this video for a complete rundown of what Presidents need personally throughout their term as well as to do their role within the PTO / PTA organization.
Over to you!
Leading a PTO / PTA as President can be a really fulfilling and enjoyable experience as long as you have what you need.
Trying to go it alone or making it up as you go can ultimately lead to a lot of frustration and wasted time, so remember the advice outlined in the post to avoid all of that!