Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Helping
Children Together

Olga Lydia Cockroft

Columbia College

 

Abstract

This paper will go over the parent teacher association (PTA), how it came about and how it has
been an important part of society since 1897. It will go into detail about how
the PTA came about and what the founders of the association wanted for it. We
will go over what the PTA was and how it has changed over time, we will also go
over how the PTA has helped children in school and the different aspects that
parents, teachers, and even the communities that those children live in can use
in order to make things flow with ease for all those involved in the PTA. We
will be going over what the PTA’s goal was and if it has changed over time or
has stayed the course over the generations.

Keywords:  Parent teacher association (PTA)

Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
Helping Children Together

The parent teacher association (PTA) was established in 1897
in Washington D.C. it was first known as the National Congress of Mothers and
was founded by Alice Birney and Phoebe Hearst. These two women felt that the
children in the world needed a voice and they created the PTA to give those
children a voice. This association was made to look after the health and welfare
of all children who needed it. The first PTA meeting had more than 2000 mother,
fathers, teachers, and workers who gather in Washington D.C. to attend the
meeting, but they were on expecting about 200 people to show up.  The PTA was and association that was made to
give children a voice and to bring the people who are in those children’s lives
together to help that child to prosper and be successful in every part of their
lives so that they can become active members of society on day. The PTA’s mission
is to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families
and communities to advocate for all children. (voice, 2017)

The PTA’s evolution over time

            In the early years of the PTA was known as the National
Congress of Mothers and was changed to other names over time such as, the
National Congress of Parents and Teachers(NCPT). At first the PTA was
segregated and so Africa Americans formed their own group until they came
together in 1930, after that the name changed again to the National PTA. The
PTA integration caused a lot of up roar in all the communities because many
people wanted them to stay separated. Dr. William H. Lemmel was a superintendent
in Baltimore that help the PTA to become integrated for the greater good of the
students. Dr. Lemmel firmly believed in the inherent equality of all mankind and
in the philosophy that the schools belong to the community. (Templeton,
1954)
Before the PTA most teachers of any kind kept parents out of the classrooms
because at the time they did not really have the training to deal with parents
and they did not reach out to parents about their students. After a while
though teachers began to see the importance of involving parents in their
children’s education.

The Men and Women of the PTA1

In the beginning the PTA was mainly made up of women who
wanted to get out and the women who were involved with the PTA were trying to
be more involved in their communities and wanted to get to know other women who
were house wives as well. The PTA however, did welcome men as well as women. The
women and men who joined the PTA really wanted to take charge and get involved
in their children’s education and wanted to learn what they could do to help
bridge the gaps between themselves and the educators. The best way to do that,
they thought was through parent-teacher organizations. School administrators
gave a place to meet, attended their meetings, and collaborated with them on
projects like fundraising, schoolhouse repairs, and parent education. (CutlerIII,
2000)
I think that today where in most cases both the women and the men work and, so
they find it hard to take the time to go to PTA meetings and meet up with their
children’s teachers. Many try to keep up with their children’s education but
find it hard to do when they have a full-time schedule and still have to find
the time to keep up with their children’s education. A lack of parent
involvement is more damaging to education than a ack of money for the schools
or a lack of discipline among students. The need for increased parent
involvement in the educational process is evidence by “America 2000,” a
national strategy presented by President George Bush to reform education. (Radd, 1993)

Teacher Incentives.                                                                                                              

Teachers and their performance in classrooms affect the
ability of any education system to produce learning results, but two problems
can get in the way. One is that teachers may not be adequately prepared to
teach, and, second, even when teachers are well-trained, they may not be
motivated to do their best because good performance is not aptly rewarded,
salaries being determined primarily by seniority, not performance, and
performance being neither monitored nor measured. (King, 2016)
Many teachers who were given incentives were found to be more motivated to help
children than that of the teachers who did not receive incentives. The teacher
who received the incentives found the time and the money to help more children.
A teacher’s salary ranges from $25,950 to $59,080 a year and they are
government funded and have to buy all of their own classrooms and that may pay
a huge part in when they are told they need to volunteer their time to helping
students outside of school hours and events. Now the teachers who get that
extra incentive are more likely and willing to spend that extra money on their
own classroom supplies and spending their extra time with any child that needs
that little extra time. Teacher incentives may prove to be problem because then
when do you know that they are really trying to help a child that needs a
little extra help as opposed to a teacher just doing the bare minimum and not helping
a child that really needs the help because they did not receive a little extra something.

The PTA in other countries.

In other countries such as Pakistan they think that it is
important for not only the parents to be involved but also the responsibility
of the communities to get involved in the children’s education as well.
Community should have sufficient opportunities in an education system for
active participation and in sharing valuable experiences. A growing concern is
there in developing countries for quality education by enhancing community
participation. (Zafar Iqubal, 2013) In this aspect other
countries may have a valid point because when the communities get involved they
can be a support group not only for the children involved but also a great
support and back up for the parents that need that little extra support. When a
community gets involved they can get the children and parents of the community
to come together as one and use that as a bigger support group for any parent
or child who is having the same trouble as someone else that they may not know
is having that same struggle and can work together to come up with a solution
to the problem. These countries also think that education is directly related
to the cultural, political, moral and socioeconomic development of the countries.
In other words, education provides people with the potential to learn, to
respond to new opportunities and to participate in the political, cultural and
social activities. (Javid Iqubal, 2011) These other counties
think that it is important to involve the communities so that their cultural
backgrounds can come into play and they can soak up all their cultural
backgrounds and it is the communities and parents responsibility to help them
with they through their children’s education. These countries harp on the
importance of the involvement of the parents and communities to help the
children to become successful members of that community and society. These
other countries are already trying to get the communities involved and I think
that Americans could use that as well because for one it will help communities
come together and also help parents when they think that their child is going
through something alone.

Conclusion.

In conclusion the PTA is a very important part of a child’s education,
but it is important for the parents and teachers to stay connected and have an
open line of communication so that if a child is having a problem or is falling
behind they can come together and combined ideas to see how they can help that
child. I think that as a parent it is important to stay involved with their
children’s education and it is important for teachers to ensure that their
students know that they are working together with their parents so that they
can receive the best education and opportunities in their lives. I think that
over time the PTA has come a long way, but it still has a long way to go as far
as making sure that all the parents and teachers are openly communicating and
having the conversations about what the student/child is lacking or what their
strengths are, in knowing those things they can come up with ideas that can not
only help their student/child but may also help another student/child that is
having the same problem. The PTA is all about working together and helping
teachers communicate better with parents and getting communities involved is
even better because then you have a bigger support group that could really come
in handy if a parent and teacher find themselves in a situation that they feel
no one else will understand.