These days, many dads would reply, “yes, I am a member of my children’s PTA.” Or provide a similar response: “Yes, preschool board” or “Yep, School Leadership Team (SLT)” or “Absolutely, I am the class parent!” OR, some fathers might bake something for the school bake sale or fundraiser. Other dads may tell you that they get involved by attending all of their children’s parent-teacher conferences.
In fact, a “2009 study by the National Congress of Parents and Teachers and the National Center for Fathering, a nonprofit educational organization, found that 590 of 1,000 fathers surveyed nationwide said they attended school parent meetings.” Nearly 60 percent!
We have been telling everyone that is listening the past few years on this blog that fathers are making an extra effort to be involved and pitch in early and often in their children’s lives…and this might comes in many forms. The New York Times reported this week that dads are shifting the dynamics of the Parent-Teacher Association in New York City schools – What’s New at the PTA, Dad? by Kyle Spencer.
As an educator, and parent of a preschooler, I certainly wanted to make a contribution to my son’s school this year so I volunteered and ran for a board position at my son’s nursery school. Similarly, Matt Schneider, wanted to take an active role at his son Max’s school, and is now a member of their School Leadership Team. Matt and I both have a little extra extra time on our hands and this was one avenue we pursued to bond with other parents as well as our children.
Why is there a trend of PTA dads or fathers joining other meaningful school related organizations? The New York Times offered that “the shift reflects a number of underlying social trends: more women with demanding jobs, more men underemployed in a lingering recession, more shared parenting responsibilities over all and the professionalization of the PTA itself.” Additionally, many fathers have the know-how for fundraising which is a necessary tool in these tough economic times. I did not find the results in the article particularly surprising, but it certainly covered an angle regarding involved fatherhood that I haven’t thought much about or reflected upon.
We are interested – how do you “pitch in” when it comes to your child’s schooling? Are you among the PTA Dads?