I changed the name to more specifically recognize the amazing work that goes on here at Edison and open the question to you all on how can it be made better…
Introduce myself and icebreaker activity (5 minutes)Set the context for the presentation: How to make PTA meetings more well attended…I suggested having presenters (Tahoe example) so the follow up to that suggestion was more conversations with the PTA president about the PTA and what it was about and what the organization needed to be even better. The idea of how to welcome more newcomers to the PTA came up, so we built on that. This idea naturally led to a discussion about volunteering and how newcomers access information and how committees function and voila! Here we are….Here, I joined up with the Go Green Group, which I love, I have helped out in my daughter’s classroom, and I have been observing, asking questions, and listening to what people are saying about the amazing community and the great PTA that this school has. I even spoke with the principal so I could better understand the role of the PTA as it relates to school functioning.I have been involved in many volunteer organizations and not for profits that are board governed both from the board perspective and from the paid employee perspective. I believe strongly in the value of volunteers and in the need to provide volunteers with a positive experience so they will keep coming back.So, let’s do an exercise. An introduction exercise. Get up, walk around the room, greet as many people as you can as if you don’t really want to be here. 30 secNow greet people as if you are shyNow greet people as if they are your best friend from University or something that you haven’t seen in a long time and you are so excited to see them!
(3 - 5min) Essentially, one of the foundations of building a strong relationship, thus a strong organization is communication. This we all know.There are a lot of tools to assess communication styles. Here are some that I have used, but there are lots more, I’m sure. Others that you have used?MBTIDISCEnegramTrue ColorsKiersey TemperamentThe point is, everyone has a certain personality and communication style and this style causes us to hear and communicate things in a certain way for the most part. Once you become aware of different communication styles, you can actively try to use other styles with different audiences, but for the most part, we tend to be comfortable with one style over all the rest.Activity: Without going into it in any detail, let’s try a little exercise. Stand up: Fact v Feeling. Divide into groups.Example: There’s a car accident and you are describing it to someone, how would you describe it?
(Option not to show vid): Click on picture to show Ben Zander video on The Art of PossibilityMy outlook is always that of “what’s possible” versus what is the problem. (3 min with clip)What are some examples here at Edison where a challenge was turned into an opportunity?Which category is your predominant mind set?How can you change that starting just with the way you say thing? Ex. On the playground: Don’t run to Walk Teaching your kids to say “I‘ll try” instead of “I can’t”The Downward spiral: Opportunity is looked at as luckGlorious opportunity: Opportunity is the norm
http://gwynteatro.wordpress.com/2011/03/13/climbing-the-ladder-of-inference/ (2 minutes)In order to be able to see possibility, we have to recognize how we form beliefs and when we make assumptions. Consider this ladder of assumption:Example of someone yawning in a meeting. Are they bored with you, or did they not get enough sleep. Someone who looks disengaged: Do they not like you, or did something happen just before the meeting that is preoccupying their mind?
How to get more of what you want: Show Laura Goodrich Seeing Red Cars segment on Cliff Young: http://www.seeingredcars.com/ (3 min)From: http://www.badassoftheweek.com/young.htmlHe'd broken the all-time record for the Westfield Sydney to Melbourne Ultra Marathon. By two days. When he got the check for ten thousand dollars, he told the organizers he wasn't actually aware there was a prize for winning. Then he said he felt bad that he should get the prize money when everyone else worked just as hard as him, so he divided the ten grand equally among all the participants in the race.
So, in keeping with looking at things from the possibility perspective. I want you now to partner up. Choose someone you don’t normally hang out with, if possible. We are going to tell each other some very short stories. (2 min)Rules: When one person is telling the story, the listener can’t jump in and add to the story, the listener’s job is to take notes of key words that help describe this experience and to ask questions if the story isn’t detailed enough…tell me more, what did you do then, etc. Then we’ll switch. Jot down notes, we’ll be sharing with the group some common themes.Partner 1: Your best experience as a newcomer to a group (2 min)Partner 2: Your best volunteer experience (2 min)
Remember, motivation is very individualized. What motivates you, might not be the reason someone else wants to get involved. Ask…And then ask, why else? See if there are more than one motivational forces working here…What could be other motivations, besides wanting to be with your kids?What motivates you to volunteer?I want to be involved with my kids and make sure they have opportunities at school and have a rewarding experience. I also like to feel part of the community.To Make a difference.To make it the best / happiest, most positive experience children can have.Love seeing my son's smiling face when I come to his class or school to help. Also, enjoy helping out friends that are taking a stand in helping the school out.Partly personal guilt. If I don't help, who will? In that same vein - if I don't help, I won't get that 'sense of accomplishment' feeling that keeps me coming back to other projects. Sense of accomplishment is a great motivator. What also motivates me is being part of a community - putting into that community (with volunteering) makes what I get out of that community that much better. I like to think that I'm setting a good example for my children too. First and foremost, I love being around the kids. Secondly, I like to think I can help make a difference. My children the teachers and other parentsTo help see my child and all of our student succeed. Cuts to the state budget and the loss of programs important to me in my child's education - art, science, reading intervention, music, technology (the list is long). I am fortunate to have the time to devote to my children's education. Wanting to be actively involved in my kids' school lives and wanting to contribute to our school community to make it better for every kid. I'm also extremely motivated to help my kids' teachers when I can as I see most of them doing so much with so little help. Also, being asked personally by someone makes it really hard for me to say no.A. The opportunity to work with/for my children B. I feel like we are getting an education that other people have to pay 20,000 dollars a year for, so the least I can do is give them some time.C. I thoroughly enjoy every minute of it.Being involved in my daughter's classroom and activities; getting to know the kids, teachers and other parentsI volunteer because I want [my daughter] to know that I value her education- and she should, too! It is an added benefit to be able to see her in her classroom environment and to observe how she is outside of our home (how she interacts with peers, her teacher, and how she approaches her assignments). Plus, I think it is enjoyable for her for me to be there- I could be deluding myself here!My sonmotivation: providing a good learning experience for the children outside of the typical classroom, developing good friendships with my other co-chairs and other garden members, providing a helping hand to the school at largeOpportunity to see my son, get to know his teacher, classmates, and their parents.I want to be involved in [my son’s] school because I care about the quality of the educational experience for al the kids. I also like that it gives me a peek into his life -- I'm aware that once he gets to middle or high school, there will likely be less opportunities to be involved in the school community and to know what's going on. I specifically agreed to be on Assemblies because I was asked to serve by my friend and I thought it'd be fun to work together (and it has been!).I want to support my child’s school and her teachers.
(2 min)Getting to know the community and the kids having a good experience.Go Green and Art DocentSeeing the smiling faces of the children / hugs.My favorite part of volunteering is being involved with my son's schools. Spending time with the kids. Getting to know the teachers, staff, and principal. Also, enjoy making new friends. Sense of accomplishment and knowing that the good deed is helping Edison and the students in some way.Connecting with the kids. I especially like doing art Docent lessons.Getting a hug from my kids when I walk in the classes Working with the studentsBeing in my kids' classrooms and getting to interact with them, to know their classmates, and getting to know their teachers better. Also, working with and getting to know the parents I volunteer with -- being part of a team working on something together. It is a tie between the parents and the students. Both are incredibly inspiring groups.Seeing my daughter at schoolHaving my daughter be excited about it being a day that I will be working in her class! The parents and kidsI love to garden, so it allows me more opportunity to get dirty :-)My favorite part is getting to know my daughter’s peers and Edison’s teachers
(5 min)Let’s share some of the stories that you just told each other.
(5 min)Ask the group: How do we encourage new volunteers? Share examples from your stories…(write on white board, or have someone take notes)
Take an “AND” approach whenever possible.
New ideas for PTA volunteer coordination
How do we make a great organization even better?The presentation formerly known as Volunteering made easier…