Looking to get more support and involvement from your teachers and staff, but you don’t know how? Or afraid of asking in the wrong way? Read on for the info you need to get teachers involved and acting as ambassadors for your PTO!
Create a Teacher Representative/Liaison position
Make it clear that you welcome and need teacher and staff involvement by carving out a specific position for a teacher rep in your parent group! By having this position, you are directly signaling to the staff that you want their input and support.
Every PTO needs to have a teacher or staff position who is responsible for providing a report of what is going on in the school and also can act as a go-between for parent volunteers and staff. This is crucial to getting the staff on board as part of the PTO team.
Go to Staff Meetings
Talk with your principal and see if they are willing to let you, or another PTO leader, come to staff meetings at least once a month. You don’t necessarily have to make a presentation at the meeting, but it is super helpful for staff members to know who the PTO leaders are and have an easy way to ask questions. And it couldn’t be easier if you’re there in person to field questions. Once staff are equipped with information, they can help spread the word!
Add them to your email list newsletter list
Make sure to add all staff members to the same email list or newsletter list so that teachers can stay in the loop. If you only send home fliers, make an extra one for all staff members. Again, make it easy for them to stay in the know about PTO happenings.
Make specific asks
Instead of just sending home flyers with information and hoping teachers will share it with parents, make a specific ask of the teacher to include it in their class newsletters or websites, or emails to class parents.
The ask doesn’t have to be verbal! Write a little note on the flier to the teacher and tell them how they can help.
Also, if you need teacher volunteers at an event, don’t put out a blanket request and hope someone will step up. Instead, specifically ask a teacher. But make sure to keep in mind that teachers have lives and responsibilities outside of their job so they may not be able to help.
The best type of support the teachers can provide often and consistently is to help parents know what’s going on with PTO and help encourage their involvement.
Communicate early and often
Don’t wait until the last minute to let teachers know about an event. Right after details have been finalized, send an email to staff or ask that the principal make an announcement about it at the next staff meeting. When people have enough notice, they can work in communications to their parents as their schedule permits. Plus, they won’t be irritated by last minute requests and will be more likely to help!
Also, don’t send mile long emails. Get to the point, quick! Give the essential details (who, what, where, when) in all communications with teachers. Teachers get a ton, and I mean a TON, of emails. They really do want to know what’s going on with PTO stuff, but they need the details quickly. Short, concise and clear emails are sure to get read and acted on.
Look for big and small ways for teachers to be involved
A great way to foster a good relationship with your teachers is to get them involved in many ways, whether it be on a small level (reminding parents to come to the next PTO meeting) or on a big level (helping to staff a booth at the PTO Carnival).
Over to you!
What other techniques have you used to get your teachers and staff involved in PTO?