Every year, all across the nation, hundreds of parents, teachers, and other PTA members will attend PTA conventions to learn how to become more effective leaders and members of their organization. You may ask, how could a PTA convention benefit me and my group? The answer varies from person to person and many attendees have a different takeaway, but they can all agree that knowledge was gained. No convention is just like the next, however, most conventions have a few common threads.
Workshops are a great way to improve on specific tasks; they can help work out inefficient structures and receive individual attention. Workshop topics vary but can be especially beneficial in helping to supplement knowledge lost by ever-changing officers. We spoke with Carol Raymond, a convention organizer in New York, about convention goals, “our conventions are leadership conventions, where we like to train new leaders how to do things within their own PTAs.” Other topics that could be covered at a convention are growing PTA calendars, writing bylaws, or learning how to advocate for school causes.
Other topics that could be covered at a convention are growing PTA calendars, writing bylaws, or learning how to advocate for school causes.
From the first time PTA member to the third year treasurer, workshops can be specific or general but aim to further the reach of your organization.
Keynote speakers are an amazing resource for convention attendees. They can be inspiring and share experiences about advocating for change. Often times keynote speakers choose to speak about statewide school issues. This year at the South Dakota PTA convention, keynote speakers were asked to speak on family engagement. You’ll learn about helpful solutions to challenges that you, your PTA, or your children face.
Aside from PTA members and speakers, vendors are also an important feature of any convention. Convention chairs and organizers work hard to recruit a great selection of vendors to help expand options for great ways to support your PTA beyond being a member. AIM insurance personally attends numerous conventions every year. We want you to know how to protect what you’re working so hard to preserve.
Are PTA conventions worth it?
The short answer — YES! Not only are conventions fun, but they’re also a time to revisit purpose, to be inspired by the work of others and share experiences. Many people that have gone in the past, go again. It’s no secret that conventions are incredibly informative, but they are also meant to be connective. Convention organizer Stephanie Owens in South Dakota said the goal of their convention was to, “bring everyone together, and show members that they are not alone.”
Workshop leaders, keynote speakers, and vendors all hope for you to gain the knowledge you seek and the knowledge you need to become effective members of your PTA and your community. Your desire to grow and discover encourages organizers to continue their hard work in creating these events and motivates vendors like AIM to come to each convention ready to share our expertise and network with you.