PTA overstepping boundaries?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by PEteacher07, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. PEteacher07

    PEteacher07 Cohort

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    Feb 17, 2008

    i am very lucky to have the PTA involvement at my school. over the few years i have been there they have been very generous. when i first game, the previous PE teacher took all the equipment when she left and left us with very little. the PTA gave us $1,000 to buy what we needed. i am very grateful to be at my school.

    a while back a few PTA moms walked in our office and said something about painting a mural on the front part of our gym. they did not bother to ask whether we even WANTED this done. which we don't. on the front part of our wall are posters which show stretches, our class rules, row numbers, etc. personally, i think its wasteful to spend money on something like that. if they wanted to spend money on us,we could always use more equipment. hula hoops break, bean bags bust open, balls get flat, cones break. we could always need new things. and if they didn't want to do that, i say give the money to our new teachers to buy things for their classrooms. we have 3 brand new teachers this year. we can make do with what we have if it means that those new teachers can buy stuff they need for their own rooms.

    how do i approach this? i don't want to sound unappreciative of the gesture and all they have done in the past for us, but neither my co-workers and i want this done. we don't like them thinking that they can come in our gym and do whatever they want without consulting us first. they wouldn't do that to a normal classroom teacher....
     
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  3. Matt633

    Matt633 Comrade

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    Feb 17, 2008

    Knowing that PTA's can be as different as night and day my first thought is is there an administrative person that would run interference for you? Maybe they can bring up the priorities if there is extra money to be spent.

    Otherwise I would just try to humbly explain your position with all the reasons you stated, stressing the fact that you appreciate their offer but you need the wall space. I think if you are humble and honest they will be understanding....

    And if they are not understanding then they are going to do what they want anyway and I would offer a set space for them to paint. Maybe they could do a border type thing either near the celing or along the floor. Hope it works out to your benefit
     
  4. kburen

    kburen Cohort

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    Feb 18, 2008

    Over the last 2 and a half year teaching, one of the biggest things that I've learned is "Pick your battles". That's not a battle that I would pick. Honestly, I'd let them do that they wanted and put your posters right back up over top of it. If they choose to say something, tell them that you don't have room to put them up anywhere else and that they are up for the studets and need to be up. If they want to get an attitude about it, they need to then realize that you weren't asked about it and if you were, you would have pointed the fact out to them.
     
  5. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Feb 18, 2008

    That's a lovely idea. I love murals. My only concern is that I won't have a place to put up my posters for class. Do you have any ideas?
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 18, 2008

    Can you ask the principal where the idea for the mural came from? My school has wish lists generated by the staff/administrators- PTA doesn't just spend their mony willy nilly on things we don't want / don't need...that's an abuse of all the fundrasing they did, don't you think? A mural doesn't help the kids- equipment, books, technology does...
     
  7. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Feb 18, 2008

    I would not battle this.

    If you choose to battle, find out why they want the mural. Find out any policy about painting school walls. Can it incorporate some of your rules? Maybe it can add words like respect, cooperation, honesty, fairness, etc.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 18, 2008

    You don't have to battle- just ask if it's possilbe for a bulletin board instead, or equipment--
    Again I would go to the administration and say very positively: "Mrs PTA came and generously offered to paint a mural in the gym...Is this a finalized plan? There are so many other resources we could use in PE where the money would go to directly helping the kids..." Not a battle- just planting the seed of an idea that perhaps the money would be more wisely spent elsewhere where it directly benefits the kids...
     
  9. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    Feb 18, 2008

    Did the PTA tell you what the mural would be about? Maybe you could ask them to do a mural to help promote physical fitness and activity.
     
  10. ABall

    ABall Fanatic

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    Feb 18, 2008

    Maybe they are useing paints they already have from previous projects. Is there a different wall you could suggest they put the mural on? An inviting environment is also a motivational tool. If the kids appreciate it, it could motivate them (ok, there has to be at least one student that really doesn't care for P.E......... and perhaps if the mural strikes that student as something he or she can relate to it might help.)

    trying to see this in a positive light.
     
  11. PEteacher07

    PEteacher07 Cohort

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    Feb 18, 2008

    I appreciate all the positive comments, but there are constantly people who think that they can just use the gym (which I consider to be my classroom) whenever they want.

    After school care uses our gym and does not clean up after themselves (don't even get me started)

    Our gym is always used for various meetings with people who SOMETIMES clean up after themselves or expect my coworkers and I to do it even though its not our mess.

    Picture day is always held in our gym and we have to put our day on hold when it could be held elsewhere.

    I am tired of people thinking they can just come and do whatever they want. This is another example of just that, so I am having a difficult time staying positive when this has continued to happen to me over and over the past three years.
     
  12. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Feb 19, 2008

    I hear your frustration; it is difficult when the space you consider your classroom is looked upon as a public space by everyone else.

    Would it be possible to reposition the mural elsewhere in the gym? We had some lions (school mascot) and lion paws painted in our gym a few years ago. They are more than halfway up the wall so they don't impact the ability to post anything on the walls as well, yet they still have an impact. It may be a way to compromise.

    As far as equipment, can you write a formal request to your PTA for equipment? Our parent group will consider funding requests from teachers if we can show that all students will benefit.

    Good luck.
     
  13. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Feb 19, 2008

    Our PTO recently planned a mural to be painted in our gym, but due to the brick walls it was just too hard. Instead they painted small murals on the gym doors and dressing room doors. Could something like that work instead of on the wall? If not, then I agree with some of the above posts, talk to the PTO and try to incorporate PE themes and see if they can move it to the back wall. Good luck!!
     
  14. kburen

    kburen Cohort

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    Feb 19, 2008

    I understand the frustration as well. Our gym is used after school by the high school kids for baseball and basketball. I've been in a school that was used on weekends for boy/girl scout meetings. My classroom is used without my permission every Sunday for Sunday school from the church next door. Things turn up missing (pencils that are borrowed and forgotten that they were borrowed), things are moved so I can't find them, and things are left in my room all the time. I just have to remind myself of the fact that were it is MY classroom to use, it's only mine to use. Noone HAS to ask me to use it for something else or to do anything in it. I know it stinks, but that might be something to keep in mind....Gym's tend to be used for a lot more than just PE classes these days, and just becuse something might not be a direct benifit to your class, doesn't mean it won't be a benifit to something or someone else when it's seen during another event in the gym. I hope I don't sound mean or harsh, I'm not trying to.
     

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