Last Wednesday night I went to a meeting in Madoc. That meeting was a School Council Orientation meeting for the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board. For this meeting there were presenters who discussed the role and responsibilities of school council chairs and of the school council members. There were presenters who spoke about establishing agendas for meetings, how to take effective minutes in meetings, developing by-laws, and a bunch more things. The thing that most struct me about these presenters was that they were hard core. They did not seem to approach their duties with that same half assed approach that I generally take. The thing that I most took away from that experience was just how different each school council seemed to be.
I came home that night and really thought about my role and the school council's role. Did I mention that I am the school council chair for our schools (yeah, like you're surprised by that). I generally create the agendas and steer the meetings. I was putting together the agenda for our meeting this Thursday night and it got me to thinking about the school council itself. I had always just assumed that everyone's school council was the same, I was now discovering that to be untrue. I have never been asked, nor have I asked what do we as a school council want our school council to accomplish? Why are our members there?
Why do I sit on school council, personally? I am devoted to my kids. I want their childhood to be the very best that it can be, well at least in the part that I play in it. I feel like maybe I can contribute to the school. I want to know what is going on in not just their classrooms, but in their school. I want to enhance their school career in anyway that I can. The other part of the why, is the same as it is in most aspects of my life. I feel like I can make a difference. I feel like if enough of us band together, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish. Perhaps this point of view is slightly childish, but it is something that I cling to. I need to see the best in people, and in the world around me. I think that if a barrier exists then I can remove it if I just work hard enough, I do no accept no for an answer (it is at this point you should begin to poor pity anyone who says no to me. I am like a dog with a bone, as stubborn as the day is long).
The other reason for joining school council, it's an evening out with like minded parents. I think that most of us are there because we want to have a voice in our children's educations. We want to contribute to our children's school experience. For those of you who would like to come out and see what it's all about, but feel intimidated, fight your fear and come out. It's alright for you to sit quietly and just listen. It's o.k. to come out to meetings, but volunteer for nothing. Don't let fear make your decisions for you. You may just find some amazing friends.