I haven't decided if I'm going to the PTA meeting this week. Why? For every hour spent in a PTA meeting, I end up doing two hours of PTA work. And if I have a glass of wine, it will end up being three hours.
This meeting is the one in which class reps are assigned. So if I
get roped in volunteer to be a class rep, it’s not just double the time, but exponentially more time.
I know that if no one else’s hand goes up for one of my children’s classes, the guilt will set in and I'll find my arm defying my brain.
Immediately I'll regret this. My husband's inevitable last words will ring in my ear: "DON'T commit to anything, honey." Oooppps.
I help out primarily for the same reason I do other school volunteer work – to make my children’s education experience the best it can be.
For those of you that don’t yet know what a class rep is, it is basically the liaison between the PTA and the class parents. A class rep needs to get to know their fellow parents very well, because they will constantly be asking them to volunteer to do things they normally wouldn’t do: like sit on a Halloween Party stand outside in 0 degree weather wearing a witch costume and encouraging kids to try to bite a donut dangling from a string. Or spend a Saturday morning trying to light an industrial size BBQ in torrential rain for a summer fete.
There is usually the same pattern for class rep volunteers – the mums in the younger classes are always keen, but many of the mums in the upper years are jaded. One too many cake sales I suppose. Last year one of our Year 5 classes did not have a class rep for quite a few months.
But keep this in mind: class reps are very important. Without them, many (most?) of these fun activities that make your school a little bit different and interesting for your child, WOULD NOT HAPPEN.
And if you don’t have time to be a class rep, you can still do your bit. Next time it’s the day before the Christmas Bazaar and you see your bedragled class rep approaching you – don’t run the other way!
This post was written by Susanna, an Expat Mums founder. You can also read her at her blog, A Modern Mother.
Photo credit: Sealdaze's