Back to Life

Friday night we had the biggest PTA event of the year, our annual Sweets and Treats carnival. Usually this event is held in October, but no one wanted to chair it. I said I would chair it, but only if we could move it to May. You can guess how many hands shot up to do it in October, right? Not a one. Of course, once the event didn’t appear on the October calendar I had all kinds of parents commenting on it. I could usually shut them down by telling them, “Ok, I’ll put you down as chair for next yea for October!”

Prior to my leadership program I never understood just how badly people resist change. Personally, I love change. I get bored very easily and am always moving on to a new project or obsession. See also: moving to a foreign country with a guy I barely knew. Change!

The change haters were out in full force when they realized that not only did we move the carnival, we cancelled the spring sock hop. The horror! Last year there was literally one child dancing, Erik. Why are we renting the room and hiring a DJ to have the kids all come in and run in circles for an hour and a half? What a waste of precious resources. The carnival was a much better year-end celebration. Change haters can suck it up.

The event itself went really well. We’ve been doing it for ten years and the original planner had it extremely well organized. Of course, I can never leave well enough alone and added a few games into the mix. If I hadn’t done that, the whole thing would have literally consisted of me editing docs, sending out flyers, buying candy, and getting volunteers. Everything else was done. I ended up with a co-chair, so the work was very manageable. The hardest part was managing 25 middle school students the night of the event. My co-chair didn’t know how to deal with children that age, so I had to work my new leadership magic on her and get her to cool her jets. She was freaking out when they finished setting up and we had 45 minutes before the event started so they were playing the games. What harm comes from playing ring toss and Plinko? They are not consumable.

She also irked me because she came in late and started snapping at all the volunteers to hang up posters. I had little slips of paper for the kids. Each slip had a job with very specific directions. They would come in, take a slip of paper, and perform the job. When they were done, they would put the slip of paper in the done bin and pick a new job. She came in and created chaos, not even asking them what they were doing before snapping at them to follow her around and hang up poster. We had a ton of kids there and I had them divided into two teams of three to hang posters.. I am very, very glad I have been learning about leadership because it took a lot of will power to reign her in instead of reaming her out. I’m finding the biggest thing about being a leader is having self-control.

Speaking of leadership. . . time to go answer my discussion questions about leadership. Answer the questions is easy. Finding a peer reviewed source to agree with me–not so easy. Six weeks to go!

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