PTOs or PTAs your adult fraternity

American School of Warsaw / photo by Marcin Spiewakowski

Parents and Teachers Association. Sounds dull and lame. In the beginning,

I thought this would never be my cup of tea. A few years later I ended up being the president of one these organizations.So, rule number one, never say never, rule number two, try new things, and rule number three, if you have children in international schools, PTOs can be a life changer.
And if you think PTOs are only about having coffees every now and then, and killing your free time, let me share with you what I earned during the time I became an active member.
First, it was the easiest way to meet friends, people with the same concerns and common feelings about their children studying in a multicultural environment, that looks more like airports’ arrivals and departures stations, with new families coming and old leaving at the same time.So believe it or not, PTO will always be your resting lounge offering a kind word and a sense of belonging when you feel that your life is on a constant flying mode.

A few months before we left for our first assignment I decided to leave my job as a journalist working for a national tv channel with the fear that I was leaving behind my productive years and a career which offered me personal fulfillment.However, life is full of surprises and becoming a PTO volunteer and helping parents organize events for our small community, which at that time was my whole world, gave me the most incredible joy. Looking at children’s happy faces when we stood in the cold making hot chocolate for them, or helping seniors raise funds for their end of year trip filled me with so much pride that I now wonder , why did I ever have second thoughts about joining the PTO. In the year of Covid our team managed to keep the community of parents together, most of us were foreigners, living with unprecedented anxiety and fear about our future, we could not travel and see our families and we only had each other to care for and entertain ourselves in creative ways having as our first priority the wellbeing of our community.So, we invented virtual quiz nights, we shared recipes on facebook and cooked together, we organized an online raffle with prizes, we gave our best selves and learned life’s biggest lesson that, ‘TOGETHER WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL”.

Covid passed and the war in Ukraine came.Living in Warsaw, we experienced from first hand the consequences of human brutality.In one night our school turned into a refugee center collecting food and clothes for the refugees who had fled from the war zone to find shelter in our homes. Our school, the American School of Warsaw, became a lighthouse of hope for so many Ukrainian families. Αll this time that we were offering our help we were changing to better people, less selfish ,more considerate and grateful for all the things we used to take for granted.
Today, even though I have returned back to my nest, whenever I go to school I try to find some time to help the PTO because I know very well that for many of our international families at school, these volunteers are their safety net and for the schools having parents to rely on during good and bad times adds up on the relationship of trust and collaboration which is of high importance.

“The war in Ukraine never ended.People still need our help.
Please consider donating here https://go.rallyup.com/aswforukraine/Campaign/Details”

You might also like The Best Version of Ourselves Starts with A Better Version

Why schools need PTAs

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