Since PTA members need to be quick-thinking organizers and leaders, this course will bring you through the following stages of planning and goal setting:
1. Getting organized.
Tips for Getting Started
a. Consult your state PTA office for program planning materials that will help you map out your year and provide many program ideas.
b. Get yourself some fun organizing supplies.
c. Create a schedule to keep yourself from feeling overwhelmed. For example: "I will check my PTA e-mail on Mondays and Wednesdays. I will set aside one hour to prepare for meetings. I will make phone calls to fellow PTA members on Tuesday evenings."
d. Make lists, keep them manageable
e. Put fun on your list.
Here are some things you can do to get organized:
a. Gather the information you need.
b. PTA records from the past year, including the goals,
c. budget and list of volunteers
d. Learn what the protocol is for sending messages to school staff, accessing telephones and e-mail, and using school equipment and supplies.
e. Create your own record book
f. Meet with the PTA officers to discuss your approach. Topics to cover:
Ø Meeting dates
Ø Project plans
Ø Deadlines for getting PTA information & events in the school newsletter
Ø A draft of (your portion of) the budget
2. Explore the past and present
Explore the Past
A great advantage of volunteering with an established group like PTA is that you don't have to reinvent the wheel. Analyze what has been done in the past. Ask parents and students for their opinions on PTA events that have taken place over the years. Ask teachers, too.
Explore the Present
If you have never worked on a committee before, a great way to start is by exploring what is expected of you. Generally, committee chairs are responsible for the actions and activities of the PTA, and are involved in planning, communicating, and obtaining board or membership approval. Be sure to ask the state and national PTA offices for resources to help you.
a. Providing notice of all meetings to all committee members, including the PTA president;
b. Working closely with other committee chairs and, where possible, combining efforts to avoid duplication and strengthen programs and projects with new ideas and manpower;
c. Preparing committee reports for meetings; and
d. Seeking member and board approval before taking any action.
3.Setting shared goals with your committee
Goal Setting Basics
a. Review the past and current activities of your PTA. Did past activities meet the needs and goals of the school community?
b. List all of your PTA's available resources
c. Gather input from parents, teachers, and administrators on their needs.
d. Develop goals based on the results of your needs assessment. List the types of activities to consider hosting.
e. Prioritize all ideas and select those that best meet the school community's needs.
f. Propose your goals with the PTA President
g. Develop a list of tasks to accomplish the goals (a plan of work), and assign responsibilities.
h. Set some measurable objectives to make it easier to evaluate whether you meet your goals.
Are your goals SMART?
a. Specific - Is the intent stated and specific?
b. Measurable - Is the outcome measurable?
c. Attainable - Is he goal achievable during the time period established?
d. Relevant - Is the main intent relevant to the objectives of the group?
e. Timely - Is there a timeframe stated?
4.Developing a plan for achieving your goals
Develop a Plan
a. Specific tasks,
b. Persons responsible for completing each task,
c. Available resources necessary to complete each task,
d. A target date for the completion of each task, and
e. The expected outcome of each task.
5. Implementing your plan
Implementing Your Plan
a. Stay flexible.
b. Not judge yourself or others harshly.
As you implement your plan, remember what all members and volunteers need:
a. A sense of belonging
b. A share in planning
c. Realistic goals
d. Value-added work
e. A share in rule-making
f. Knowledge of expectations
j. Confidence in the leadership
6. Evaluate your progress
Determine what you would change next year. What would you do again next year?