If you’re a new PTA president, you probably have your first meeting of the year coming up soon. Here are some tips to get you ready to run that first meeting.
Planning the Meeting
- Make sure your meeting date doesn’t conflict with other events.
- Get announcements of the meeting out early. Remember that not everyone communicates in the same ways, so use multiple ways to get your message out.
- Consult with your principal and teacher representative to find out if they have anything to share.
- Contact your board members to see if they have agenda items.
- Make sure any extra arrangements (e.g., babysitting, outside speaker, refreshments, etc.) are confirmed in advance.
- Create your agenda. Make sure you have copies of the agenda and any information or action item handouts ready before the meeting.
- For your first meeting, your audit report for last year and budget for this year need to be adopted in that order. You will also need to approve the minutes from the last meeting of last year.
Before the Meeting Starts
- Have all your tools (e.g., gavel, Robert’s Rules of Order, bylaws, policy and procedure, etc.) readily at hand.
- If you’re using any equipment (e.g., projector, microphone, SmartBoard, etc.), be sure it’s working properly.
- Have someone welcome people as they come in the door.
- Have some drinking water with you.
- Take a deep breath and relax.
Running the Meeting
- Start on time.
- Stick to your agenda.
- Be sure to have people wait to be recognized by you before speaking, and have them speak to the chair, not each other.
- Remember to conduct a vote on motions. It’s easy to forget to do that when the discussion seems to come to a consensus.
- Make sure everyone knows when the next meeting will be.
- Thank everyone for attending before adjourning.
After the Meeting
- Take another deep breath and relax.
- Have a quick conversation with your board members about how the meeting went. Focus on three things: what worked, what didn’t work, and what sort of worked and needs improving.
- Make a note of all the actions that were decided and who will be doing them. Follow up with those people to make sure they are on the same page.
Do you have a leadership question? Looking for training for your PTA officers? If so, contact Illinois PTA Leadership Development Director Brenda Diehl at firstname.lastname@example.org.