People have all sorts of ideas about what joining a P&C will be like.
“What will the people be like,”
” Will they be cardonay drinkers like Cath and Kim”
“Will it be like an episode of underbelly or like watching 30 minutes of parliament on ABC?”
“Will there be fella’s and will they be like the guys from House husbands?”
“What will I get out of it”
Well joining the P&C can have a number of good points and like everything, you get out what you put in. One of the main reasons I joined was because my parents were always active in my school events and so in my mind it seemed like the thing to do. I guess I hope my children will also grow to chip into community events, because they saw me do it.
But it has also been shown in research that when parents demonstrate to their children they value school, their kids tend to do better both academically and socially. There are lots of ways of supporting our kids at school, starting with just showing an interest in their day, meeting their teachers, to attending assembly items, helping out at school events and being part of the P&C.
I also like the feeling that I am actively helping my children’s education by helping with the fundraising that provides those ‘extra’ school items the school is not always funded to purchase. I quite like organising things and helping out – it is nice to have that sense of community which makes you feel safe and connected. This is my way of doing what they talk about in the recent ACT, Belong, Commit campaign. However, people participate at whatever level they can manage. Some people work full time and some work at home and so everyone does what they are comfortable with. No matter what your ‘profession’ it is always great to learn what people can do, their hobbies and skills.
I find the P&C helpful for finding out information about what is going on at the school. I work part time, and as the kids get older I don’t hang around before and after school so much. It is easy to get out of the loop when you don’t see other parents regularly – being in the P&C helps me have some idea of what is going on, and gives me opportunities to meet other parents and teachers.
So that is what I get out of it – obviously it is different for other people. I can understand why some might be reluctant to join, sometimes there are some downsides. Unfortunately the meetings can sometimes get a little boring. There are rules and regulations about how we have to run the meetings. Ultimately, these procedures exist to ensure we don’t have any crazy megalomaniacs using the P&C to take over the school, and spend all the hard earned money on statues of themselves, or drive particular points of view that don’t reflect the school and parents. On the up side, the meetings only happen on the third and seventh Wednesday of each term and you don’t actually have to attend the P&C meetings to contribute idea’s etc.
It is also true that sometimes the debates can get a little heated. When you get such a diverse set of people together you are always going to have differing opinions and that is OK. It might seem a bit confronting if your new to the group, but I think everyone’s final goal is doing something for the school and our kids, and that is a uniting force.
So maybe your thinking “perhaps” I’ll give it a go. How can we make it easier for you.
- Well, if you are actually thinking of attending a meeting, why not bring a friend – it is always easier to have some support in a new environment.
- You are also welcome to email or contact any of the P&C committee members and just have a chat before hand, we really do like it when people show an interest and will make an effort to help you blend in.
- If you know you don’t have time for meetings, but like the idea of helping out, you can join a particular committee as a volunteer (ie. fundraising, canteen, uniform shop, treasurer).
- Or you can add your name on the volunteer list where we email people when events come up and we need help or idea’s (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Finally you can just keep reading this blog and contribute ideas or suggestions through this forum. We will try to keep it up to date and forward suggestions to the relevant people and meetings.
The P&C is one small part of the school but it does make significant contributions throughout the year in terms of fundraising and trying to foster a positive community spirit.
Hope we meet you soon.