The sudden and unexpected switch to virtual education – thanks to the coronavirus outbreak – has left many in the education sector questioning the usefulness of their services during such a time. Key among these are Parent Teacher Organizations that have been left pondering over their role in the age of the pandemic. However, it is safe to say that these organizations are still very much essential to the successful working of the country’s education system.
Parent Teacher Organizations Are More Important Than Ever Before
1) The Mission Still Stands
The pause of some, or all, in-person education has not altered the core essence of parent teacher organizations (PTA and PTOs). Their mission and values still stand as is, and they continue to play an important role in supporting and furthering children in their educational journey. The PTA's mission, which is “to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children”, is crucial in the present situation where the most disadvantaged are being affected the worst.
2) Advocacy and Leadership
Most parents and students have never experienced online education before. They have many questions and are trying to learn new systems without losing focus on the learning aspect. This is where PTAs can step in and use their leadership position to ensure a smoother ride for all. More specifically, they are the liaison between the parents and the school, helping both understand each other’s needs. PTAs will advocate for meeting students' needs while ensuring teachers are provided with the necessary material, technology, and training to carry out effective teaching.
With schools being closed, teachers and parents have reduced in-person contact. And with all the new technologies being used, messages are getting lost. PTAs can facilitate effective communication during this uncertain time. They can reiterate messages in their newsletters, arrange periodic online meetings, and update social media to ensure parents are getting information.
4) Fun-Filled Events!
While learning is the primary motive of the education system, it is also responsible for providing children with a creative and fun-filled outlet through which they can entertain themselves, create bonds, and make everlasting memories! Although most PTA events are traditionally in-person, PTAs now organize virtual events to keep children occupied. Check out our posts on planning a fun run, virtual spirit week, or other fall virtual events.
So, while the nature of the PTA’s operations will change, their importance has not decreased. Instead, they are now more relevant than ever as parents, teachers, and students navigate a new world of education together.