The Ultimate Parent Back To School CheckList-15 days and counting!

Okay, it might be more than 15 days for you, or it could be even less (today maybe?), but for our family...15 days and counting. Last night I was thinking, there has to be one thing I can do every day to better prepare myself for school. My kids are easy about school starting, they have their new crayons, markers, file folders (four different colors, with pockets), a new backpack, and uniforms (for two of the three). We have started the annual: "yes I know it is summer and that it is still light at 9pm and you have nothing to do tomorrow but you need to start a routine of early bedtimes because sooner than later school will be starting" dialogue. But the same is true for me, after all I am the one who drives 2 of the three to school, so I'll be going to bed earlier because I have to get up earlier in a few weeks as well.

Now, as you all know, I am a PTA leader in our school district (as well as serving on the State PTA)...and I am also a local leader, signing on to be the PTSA President at my son's middle school. This means I must be incredibly organized AT ALL TIMES because I juggle multiple schedules (for myself regarding events, meetings, etc) and because I juggle multiple volunteer schedules. Back in the day when I was just Myrdin, I worked as a Marketing Director at a non-profit visual arts association. As is the nature of non-profit work, I was also the Volunteer who coordinated the Volunteers. Back then we relied on clip boards and three ring binders to track and record volunteer information and hours. Then I'd spend endless data entry hours with excel spreadsheets compiling reports for my boss and board. Ugh. What I find remarkable is that in this day and age of such advanced technology (google+ anyone?) we still have PTA (and other parent group's) leaders using this outdated methodology. WHY?

So checklist item number one: find a simple solution for my volunteer organization needs.

So imagine my delight to find Volunteer Spot. It’s a terrific tool for coordinating everything from classroom readers and holiday parties, to school-wide fundraisers like carnivals and book fairs, to ongoing helpers in the cafeteria and library, and snack schedule in pre-school. Anyone can create a signup and invite parents to choose their spots via email, a link in a newsletter, or even on the school website or facebook page.

Knowing my "go get em" personality, I will no doubt agree to be the room parent for my Kindergarten (!) daughter's class. I don't have time to phone 25+ parents about snacks, field trips, who is supplying yarn for the knitting project, etc. However, I do have time to create a webpage, email it, update it, etc at 11pm at night after I've watched another episode of Burn Notice (that's a blog for another time, Michael Weston....).

Listen, why do we make the start of school so hard on ourselves? As parent leaders (whether PTA or another group, whether a room parent, or even as the volunteer) we need to make volunteering joyful, easy, and worth the effort. So, day 1 of the 15 day countdown for me? Signing up with Volunteer Spot. One item on the checklist down...14 more to go!

Parent leader free online sign up sheets with volunteerspot
I SUPPORT MY SCHOOL.. MY WAY! And I’m joining VolunteerSpot’s Back To School campaign to help raise visibility for parent involvement in schools.
Save time {and sanity} and get more parents involved at school with VolunteerSpot.com!
VolunteerSpot's FREE online signup sheets make it easy to organize parents and signup to help for just about anything: classroom helpers, snack schedules, carnivals, library volunteers, parent-teacher conferences and more....  No more 'Reply-All' email chains or clipboard sign up sheets! Please share with your room mom, teachers and parent leaders…
Plus there's a huge Sweepstakes on VolunteerSpot's Facebook page!
Win $500 worth of school supplies for YOUR School! Enter here

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