How Do I Become An Effective NCPTA Advocate?
Each North Carolina PTA local unit should have an advocacy committee chair, and he or she can help you get started. You may be interested in a particular issue in your child’s school, or you may have a general interest in improving all schools in North Carolina. Wherever you choose to advocate for children, a few simple tools will serve you well:
Never be concerned that you are an inexperienced advocate. All the best advocates once were inexperienced. You are a concerned citizen, parent and member of North Carolina PTA, and these are the only credentials you need to be an advocate.
Sometimes the best way to deal with an issue is to offer your help in solving it. This is part of the North Carolina PTA tradition. We don’t only ask public officials to fix things, we offer to help.
Learn everything you can about the issue that concerns you. The best advocates frequently know more about an issue than the public official in charge. At leadership training meetings every year, North Carolina PTA informs leaders and members about important issues facing our public schools. Information on the dates and location of these meetings can be found on the North Carolina PTA website or via your local unit president. All North Carolina PTA members are encouraged to attend these training meetings.
Even when issues are controversial or complicated, civility is a must. Tension and tempers rarely solve anything. Public officials, whether principals, superintendents, school board members or legislators, all deserve civility.
Public officials don’t expect you to take no for an answer, and they respect persistence. Some of the most important goals take a long time to achieve.
Always Say Thank You.
Just like Mom said. After a talk or meeting with an official, always thank them. Not only is this courteous, it will be easier to get the next appointment.