Many public institutions rely on the generosity and help of volunteers in order to run smoothly. One of the more important institutions is the school, and one of the most visible volunteers in the school is the PTA volunteer. These volunteers fulfill a necessary role, especially for the elementary schools, by augmenting the work of the principal and teachers with extras that the school ordinarily would not have. The people who do the volunteer work are varied, but the PTA seems to act as a magnet for three types of personalities: the power seeker, the eager beaver, and the dependable worker.
Dominating Dora, the "power seeker," usually starts off as a committee chairman and almost always ends up as the PTA president. She feels she must run the PTA her way because only she knows the best way to do it. She calls board meetings often and is incensed and hurt if someone misses the meeting. All jobs must be done her way, and she frequently organizes half of the job before it is delegated. She then checks up to see if it is being done precisely as she organized it. On the other hand, she may not delegate anything at all, preferring to do most of the work herself. Not delegating the work ensures that it will be done properly, namely her way. Dominating Dora usually follows an unacknowledged personal agenda to gain status, prestige, influence, and authority; she often has no idea that she is following a personal agenda. The school personnel are wary of her since she is very bossy in her dealings with everyone. She even goes so far as to tell the principal and teachers how to go about their own jobs. Dominating Dora also promotes programs within the PTA that the principal often ...
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...ant to what she is doing. The "dependable worker" like Normal Nancy does not burn out because she paces herself, works steadily, and fills in the gaps where needed. Doras and Ritas may come and go, but Nancys "keep going and going and going."
The interesting thing about the "power seeker," the "eager beaver," and the "dependable worker" is that they are all necessary to run the PTA organization. Their quirks are what make them important in getting the activities planned, the prizes made, the playground equipment ordered, and the book fair organized. Another noteworthy fact is that, when necessary, any PTA volunteer can become any one of these three types of people. The fact that a "power seeker," an "eager beaver," and a "dependable worker" can fit together like a puzzle to form a bigger picture is the miracle of the PTA volunteer organization.
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