A PTA or parent-teacher association is a formal or informal organization composed of teachers, parents, and school staff members. Most private and public elementary schools have a PTA. Such associations are also common among middle schools and high schools. But while PTAs were once a prominent part of school-community life, membership and attendance have been in decline in the past few decades. This decline has in turn led to a lack of awareness regarding the overall importance of the PTA. So what are the roles of the PTA? In this post, we provide a brief review of the roles of the PTA and why it is important for parents to be participate in such associations.
PTAs foster closer relations
The main role of the PTA is to promote closer relations between schools and families. The school and the family are the two biggest forces that shape a child’s growth and development. It is therefore sensible for families and schools to actively collaborate when it comes to managing the education of children. The PTA serves this very purpose. It creates a forum where teachers, parents, and other responsible parties such as school staff can come together. Good relations between parents and teachers are essential to maintaining the quality of education provided to students. But beyond fostering better relations, the PTA encourages parental involvement. As the number of families with both parents working continues to increase, managing children’s education has increasingly become the sole responsibility of schools. The PTA, therefore, seeks to re-establish the role of parents as partners in children’s education.
Inform parents regarding their children’s progress
The PTA also serves as the channel through which parents are informed of their children’s academic and personal progress. The degree of involvement vary among parents. Whereas some parents are highly involved in their children’s performance in school, some are not as active in keeping track. Regardless of these differences, the PTA serves the role of keeping parents up-to-date. Parents have a right to know how their kids are doing in school, and thus joining the PTA is a good way to keep track of their children’s progress. Additionally, such gatherings allow teachers to inform parents how they can boost their children's personal and academic growth at home.
PTAs serve as a platform for parents
More than the right to know about their children’s status, parents also have the right to voice their opinions, concerns, and wishes to schools. Parents can certainly convey feedback through various means. For example, parents can call or write school administrators. But the PTA is an excellent platform for good reasons. Not only is the PTA a formal platform for communication, but it is also a place where parents can come together to make a bigger impact. In other words, the PTA enables parents to unite and make a difference.
PTAs enables discussion of common issues
As stated earlier, the main role of the PTA is to bring schools and families together. This leads to another crucial purpose: to enable parents and schools to discuss and address common issues. The education system is constantly changing. New policies are implemented in response to problems and concerns, curricula are updated, methods of teaching continue to transform, and the school environment evolves at a rapid pace. These changes do not come without challenges. For instance, parents may have apprehensions about a new policy or may be against a planned change. The PTA gives parents and teachers a place to discuss these and work together to find solutions.
PTAs assist parents in activities
The school calendar is filled with activities that require the involvement of parents. Bring your parents to school day, recitals, and plays are just a few of these. While some parents may not be aware of their role in such activities, the PTA can do a good job at informing parents how they can help. PTA meetings, for instance, usually include upcoming events in their agenda so that parents can receive the information they need to play effectively their roles.
PTAs help bring the best education to children
The roles and scope of the PTA may vary among schools, but ultimately the role of the PTA is to ensure that children are receiving the best education possible. There is a saying that it takes a village to raise a child. This saying is true in the case of children’s education. The school and the family are the two most important forces that shape children. Children will not be able to thrive if one or both are absent in their lives. In fact, studies consistently shows that children whose parents are involved in their schooling consistently perform better in school. Both parents and teachers are therefore responsible for collaborating with each other. The parent-teacher association is the perfect forum for this. Parents and teachers can learn a lot from each other, and the PTA plays a huge part in enabling this exchange.