The second half of the school year is normally the time when well organized PTO / PTAs start looking towards planning for the future school year.
The task of filling the slate of officers for the next school year can seem like a daunting task.
Here are some tips to help your recruit leaders for your PTO or PTA!
The smartest thing to do to lay the foundation for the “big” ask of taking on a leadership role in a PTO parent group is to make a small ask for help early on in the school year.
Parents that are engaged and involved are likely to step up into a leadership role when asked.
It’s pretty rare for parents who have previously been uninvolved to agree to an office or committee chair position.
Where to start?
Look the parents who come to meetings and/or events, but who may be quiet.
They may not volunteer themselves fro a job, but they might say yes to a position when personally asked.
Ask the principal, teachers and other staff if there are any parents who are active in classroom or school volunteering during the day.
There are many reasons why a parent might volunteer during the day, but may never come to a PTO meeting.
You never know unless you ask, so ask first to get ideas of who to ask to take on a leadership role!
Make sure to make a general announcement that the nominations process is going on.
Someone who was not previously on your radar as a candidate might volunteer themselves, much to your surprise! And that can be a great thing!
Be clear and honest
This next part should go without saying…
But I feel like I must say it because too many times I’ve heard from people that they didn’t know what they were getting into with regard to PTO/PTA stuff.
That’s a pretty sad statement.
I’ve most frequently heard this not from people in my own groups, but from other groups in the district or from friends on social media.
For whatever reason, they stepped into the role without fully understanding what the job would be.
And they weren’t properly trained to handle the job.
Make sure anyone you recruit doesn’t have that experience.
And if the position you’re recruiting for really is so bad that you don’t want to be honest about what’s involved, well, then time for a change.
And time to re-evaluate the responsibilities of that position and make a change.
What to tell potential leaders
In the process of being completely honest about what’s involved, you need to be sure the potential volunteer is clear on:
- Time commitment involved and a
- Available leadership resources, like any binder or planner you’ve put together to make the job easier.
One potential pitfall to avoid?
If at all possible, it’s best to have your current PTO President not involved in anything regarding the nominating or recruiting process except for one limited role.
There’s the possibility that volunteers may feel intimidated and won’t tell the President how they genuinely feel about taking on a role (maybe they can’t say to to the President?).
But you should feel free to consult the President for their brainstorming ideas for possible candidates.
But make sure to limit the President’s role after that!
Another way you can turn potential volunteers off is by “volun-telling” them.
Over to you!
Make Officer Transitions a Breeze
Looking for additional support with officer transitions?
There’s a fabulous resource designed to help smooth bumpy transitions by making it easier for your PTA/PTO to document processes, systems and conduct self audits.
It’s all been rolled into the enormously helpful President’s Success Kit!
The kit comes with everything you need to set up an organized binder in mere minutes and along with essential forms to run your PTA/PTO to share with all leaders in your group.