Once again, I joined the thousands of women and men who attended the Texas Parent-Teacher Association Leadership Conference in San Antonio, Texas last month.
This is the third year I have attended the conference. (Last year was in Dallas and the first year I went to it was in Houston.) We typically send four officers to the conference but since this year it was in our hometown, we opted to send six officers and four committee chairs to the conference.
There were classes to fit every interest level – from the basics of how to do your position (Treasurer, Parliamentarian, President, Fundraising, Secretary, etc.) to PTA issues (how to deal with contentious meetings or other drama, expanding membership, getting volunteers) to parenting issues (Lice, cyber bullying, talking about sex, online safety) and even personal things such as what to cook for dinner and how to save for college.
For the past two year, I held the position of Treasurer, and that was the focus of many of the classes that I took. This coming school year I will be vice president in charge of parent education and programs.
I did not see many classes specifically dealing with my new position, so I just chose classes that interested me or ones I thought could help our PTA.
Here are the Classes and Discussion Groups that I attended.
Ha! Ha! Help! Parenting with Humor – I took this one purely for my own enjoyment. This was offered last year, and people raved about it. It was a good presentation by a humorist and mother. It was all about how when we yell, our kids win so she parents with humor. It gets her point across without a raised voice.
You Want It When? – Again, a personal choice rather than one that will help me in my job as VP. And again, another excellent speaker. This course was all about prioritizing your time. I knew a lot of the techniques, but it is nice to pick up a few pointers and be reminded of how I should balance my family, work and volunteering.
Cyberbulling, Social Networking, Apps, Sexting & More: How to Keep Your Kids & Schools Safe – Again, an awesome speaker and great material. I sure know how to pick the right classes. I attended this with a friend, and we both agreed we would love to have this lady come speak at our school. (She is 90% booked for this year, and I figure she is out of our price range.) We learned a lot about not just the latest apps and Cyberbullying but how the police handle sexting and cyberbullying. Very informative.
Involving Members and Attracting Leaders – This class was taught by four PTA members – three from the state level and one from a Dallas area PTA. They really did not have a set speech but rather just talked about the topic and focused on real examples, whether it was something they had done or suggestions from the audience. Another good class with useful information.
Your PTA Got the Crab Mentality? – This speaker discussed the idea that a lot of times we are pulling each other back rather than pushing them toward success. It was a lot about embracing new ideas and challenges. Probably my least favorite class of the bunch but still a good one.
Programs, Parents and Infinite Possibilities – This discussion group talked about programs and how to get people involved in the PTA. The good thing is that these are real examples from other PTA school leaders. I was able to get a list of free activities that fall under my job description of both programs and parent education.
Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold – Engaging Families – I attended this one with three other ladies from my PTA. It focused on how to get families involved. Again, it had some good ideas.
It was a fun, informative weekend, and it was awesome to hang out with the other ladies from my PTA who I will be working with this school year. I look forward to next year’s conference.