I often hear the same thing from parents who volunteer for activities that are run by the parent teacher association of our children’s school. They feel that they could have made more of an impact. Their expectations of the task they stepped up to perform were not met. If they had more time to prepare, the outcome would have been better. More time to prepare! Isn’t that the mantra that we all live by? If only there was more time in the day we would be able to better manage our lives and everything we want to accomplish each day.
Well, we can’t change the amount of time we have in a day, but we can certainly go about managing it in a more effective way. We need to make the most of the skills we have and the tools that are available to us. If you are the president of your PTA or PTO, you are certainly not handling every issue on your own. You have likely built your supporting board members with people that you know you can rely on. As president, you are actually a facilitator, a delegator, a person that knows your actions need to be for the good of the families you represent.
Perhaps you are the website coordinator for your parent teacher organization. You realize that the goal of the website is to accommodate the needs of the families in your association. They need to be informed from day one and they need to be kept abreast of all issues promptly. Keep in mind that nothing is more important to any parent than the issues that affect their children. If your task is to better position your PTO online, the first step to take is to visit a few PTA or PTO websites. As you are browsing these websites, put yourself in the position of a family member who is trying to learn more about the events and activities that affect their children. While observing, take notes on issues like these:
- Can you find what you looking for without having to click too many times?
- Is the information on the home page outdated?
- Does it work in your browser?
- Does it work in other browsers?
- Does it seem like the webmaster is able to effectively integrate the technology and the needs of your families?
- Does it make things easier for everyone?
One last point that is very important to note. Your parent teacher group will exist for many years to come. Your job as website coordinator will not last forever. Many more volunteers will follow your path, so you want to make sure you design a PTA or PTO website that will work for your group over the long haul. It should also be easily adaptable by the person who follows you in your role. Finally, It should also retain a consistency to it as we all know how humans tend to struggle with change.