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PTAs requesting help - how much is too much ?

Original post made by Parent, Palo Alto High School, on Oct 10, 2007

PA schools are closed on Friday for staff development. This means that I will have my three angels (1 elementary, 1 middle and 1 high)under my feet all day. They are already requesting special outings and treats because there is no school. On top of that, I have just got email from Paly requesting help of food and servers for giving the teachers lunch.

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Comments (6)

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Posted by The Latte Man
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 10, 2007 at 1:48 pm

I think the idea of having students cater the lunches is fantastic. I also think students should be the ones manning the snack bar at football games. That the parents agree to do this is not a great example to set. Kids in Palo Alto have far too much given to them - and it sets a bad tone.

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Posted by SkepticAl
a resident of Ventura
on Oct 10, 2007 at 6:57 pm

Hey parent -

On the days when your little ones are in school, a lot of those teachers are skipping lunch, or rushing it or eating on the run in order to devote more of their time to your children's education. That doesn't mean they automatically deserve this special lunch....but I can understand why some people think it's a good idea. Just a thought.

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Posted by Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Oct 10, 2007 at 8:07 pm


Don't get me wrong. I know they work hard and a free lunch is a free lunch. But their training day does mean extra work for me. Having my children home should be a treat for me too, somehow, it seems more like a different headache.

I do a lot for my kids' schools, volunteer in the classrooms, sit on committees, drive for field trips, bring goodeies for parties, help with all sorts of things when asked, and I enjoy it. I feel part of the community and have got to know some great people as a result. But, sometimes we stay at home moms feel put upon. I have honestly never worked as hard in my pre-kid days as I do now. Funnily enough, I never remember having volunteers in my classrooms when I was a kid and my Mom never remembers volunteering or even being asked to.

But, when it comes down to it. Teachers are doing their jobs and get many signs of appreciation from me and the rest of us. I just think that sometimes the PTA powerhouses spend a lot of time finding busy work for us poor parents.

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Posted by Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Oct 10, 2007 at 8:19 pm

My train of thought got completely interrupted.

What I meant to say, is that back in my days of employment, I worked very hard, often working my lunch hour, staying late, and never getting catered lunches from appreciative customers. It was hard work, but it was my job and was expected of me. However, I feel that I work even harder as a parent and once again I don't seem to get the appreciation from my customers (my kids?) or whoever.

When it comes down to it, the teachers are great. But, they are doing what is expected of them. I don't begrudge them their training day or their free lunch, it is one of the perks of the job. I hope no one feels that I don't respect them for it. But just don't expect me to run my tail off on the day they don't work with my kids when I have extra work to do because of it.

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Posted by agree
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 11, 2007 at 7:21 am

asking anything of us when our kids of home presumes that 1) there are babysitters or 2) there are other parents at home or 3) you can bring them with you to help with the work.

it is a bit presumptuous, but there are a lot of people with this ability, so if they want to do it, why not?

Just say no, if you don't want to or can't. Don't feel guilty or mad. Some of our schools are EXTREMELY active, and there is no reason to do everything that somebody thinks is a good idea, nor any reason to feel bad.

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Posted by SkepticAl
a resident of Ventura
on Oct 12, 2007 at 3:14 pm

I certainly understand feeling put upon - it does seem like a lot sometimes. At a high school though, remember that every request is going out to something like a thousand families, right? Don't feel bad if you can't do what they asked - let some of the other 999 pick up the slack.

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