Wednesday, September 16, 2009

We Came, We Saw, We Conquered.. Kind Of

This morning I woke up and took a huge sigh of relief. An exhausted, hard fought for, sigh of relief. I had survived the impossible and felt the literal weight of 900 students, parents and administrators be lifted from my shoulders.

I survived the first PTO meeting of the year.

Although I am prone to exaggeration, I can say completely honestly that for the past three weeks, PTO has taken over every spare second of my life. I have taken phone calls in the bathroom, responded to emails in the middle of the night, met with parents before, during and after school, spoken with companies offering various goods in each of the 50 states, and breathed all things PTO continuously.

In a word, it has sucked. But I think I may be on to something.

My awesome board and I, made up of her, her, and her, decided that we would sponsor events to coincide with each meeting in hopes that the kids would beg their parents to come to whatever we had planned and then the parents would stick around for our meeting. Genius, right? We agreed to kick off the year with a BINGO Night because really? Who doesn't love BINGO? And it seemed to be working. I heard kids in the hallways reading our posters and talking excitedly. I had parents calling to get a little more information. I had teachers telling me what a great idea it was.

And it was. Except that 2 hours before the meeting, the prizes I had ordered from a company guaranteeing me delivery yesterday informed me that they would actually be guaranteeing me delivery today.

I guaranteed them that I would be unable to work with them in the future.

So in the midst of getting dinner underway, I dropped everything and ran to the local dollar store to load up on anything I could think of that would be a cool prize for an elementary kid winning at BINGO. Silly putty, spongey footballs, bubbles, pencils, you name it, I bought it. It was a particularly difficult task because I had no idea if 7 kids would show up or 700, but I did my best.

And in the end, it all worked out. The kids played BINGO, which was gloriously run by my dear husband, Melanie's dear husband, and the young girls from my ward who came to help simply because they knew I needed help. Go Mormons! You rock!

And we had a great turnout for our first meeting from the parents. We discussed, brainstormed and encouraged. Parents were talking with one another, offering up suggestions, coming up with new ways to help. Administrators were answering questions, offering support. The dads were milling around, sneaking refreshments and wondering why in the world they agreed to come. It was fantastic, and as I looked out at all the faces and felt a renewed spirit of "We Can Do Itness!"

But first I need a nap.


Mimi said...

I thank you, from the bottom of my heart where my devotion to helping my children fuel their passion for education lies, for all of the work you did to make this meeting a success. There was an overall vibe in the air of community and I can't wait to see how the year plays out. Thank you Karen!

superbrad9 said...

I didn't understand anything Melanie just said but you did do a fantastic job and it was a pleasure to be able to help.

tharker said...

a.) Brad's comment just cracked me up ;)

b.) You did a great job last night, and my kids each had a blast playing Bingo

c.) I will try not to suck anymore in the "show some support for PTO" department, and I will be at every meeting...well, except for next month cuz it falls on Spencer's birthday....and well, after I have the baby, it might be hit and miss....but I'll definitely do better than last year ;)

hatch said...

I need to call you. I love your fun ideas. Our PTO is sooo new that I feel like all I have accomplish is getting things orgaznized and boring stuff.
Bingo sounds like sooo much fun. We should meet for lunch and talk PTO. Glad to know I am not the only one who has had to take phone calls in crazy places.;) One question is the whole year this crazy?

vwbabe said...

It is all worth it. I am here anytime you need me to watch the kids or do some rallying for you. This is fun to be so close and to help each other!

Mimi said...

For Brad...
Me like meeting.
Good for kids to see parents involved.
Kids like to learn good.

sorry for the confusion:)

Lisa said...

You are superwoman....for reals.


Amy said...

You are amazing!!! and I thought everything went so well. Don't hesitate to call on me to do whatever (now that I know where stuff is... lol), so you're only eating and sleeping PTO, but not breathing it.

p.s. 2 hours before the meeting I was sitting at the park, watching Sean play while the girls were at a singing class. I totally could have gone prize-hunting for you. Seriously call next time!!!

Amy said...

LOL... Mimi's 2nd comment is hilarious!

Kelly said...

Seriously, how do you do it? Once again you make me feel like a total underachiever.

That school is so fortunate to have you leading the way!

Heather said...

And your ploy worked, because Kaden was about to cry when I told him we couldn't go because I didn't have anywhere for the girls to go since Jer wouldn't be home in time. Don't worry, I'll try and make it sometime.