Congratulations, You're On The
Committee - But I've Never Done This Before
by School Programs USA
Well, you did it. Perhaps
it was to do your part to become involved and participate in making a difference. Perhaps it was because your involvement
was in the best interest of your attending children. It may have been because you didn’t like the way things were being
done and you felt you could do a more suitable job. Or maybe you volunteered simply because no one else was willing. Regardless
of the reason or reasons why you decided to take the plunge, you did it. You are now on the committee. Now what?
This is a common scenario that many parent volunteers
or nominated committee members suddenly find themselves thinking when first taking over a position or joining a committee.
It may initially seem a bit overwhelming, but having a clear understanding of your position and expectations is the first
step to accepting your new position and succeeding.
may have been lucky enough to have previously served on the committee in a smaller capacity which may have allowed you to
become more familiar with the duties and expectations of your new position. This may have also allowed you to meet and become
comfortable with the other members of your committee. Many committee members feel this is the best way to become a positive,
productive member, by first entering in a minimal capacity and then evolving to a more prominent position. Many new committee
members may not have this luxury, as they are accepting an immediate vacancy and are faced with the new responsibility without
any previous understanding or experience. Regardless of the situations leading to you recent responsibilities, you have accepted
the task of your new position and must focus on stepping up and doing the best job you can do to become an integral part of
your committee's achievements and success.
good news is you are not alone. Every committee member, past and present, have all had the same feelings and concerns as you
are experiencing right now. You are probably receiving a variety of mixed messages from others with the intent of being helpful
that can also add to your newfound anxiety. However, there are some helpful pointers and strategies that can allow you embrace
your new duties and make your acceptance or transition into to your new position a very positive experience while preventing
setbacks or frustrations.
It, Don’t Fear It
If you’re nervous you
are simply feeling the normal immediate emotions that regularly accompany your new status. Many times our nervousness quickly
turns into fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of not doing well or succeeding, fear of not doing as well as your predecessor,
or just the fear of something new or perhaps out of your comfort zone. Our first tip to becoming comfortable with your new
position is embracing it, not fearing it.
leads to anxiety, frustration and often reluctancy. Fear is a negative emotion that leads to setbacks and lack of personal
confidence. By embracing the new change and accepting this in the right perspective you are creating the proper, healthy foundation
for you to succeed.
The Proper Perspective
The very first thing you can
do that will lead to the embracing of your new position and having the proper, positive frame of mind, is having a proper
and clear understanding of the committee and it’s goals and objectives, as well as your position and it’s duties
and responsibilities within your committee. You must have a complete and proper understanding of what your position entails,
what is expected of you and the exact duties and expectations of your position. Don’t be afraid to ask and to clarify
any areas or duties that you do not completely understand. Be thorough and complete. Many times you will receive a folder
of notes and information from your predecessor. Review these and take notes to obtain a better understanding. Take the time
and make the effort to gain the best possible understanding of your responsibilities and your position’s importance
within your committee. You must have this understanding in order to properly perform successfully.
“I’m New At This, I’ve Never Done
Do not fall into the common mentality
of hiding behind the position of “well I’m new at this” or “I’ve never done this before”.
These are nothing more than an unacceptable excuses. You have accepted a position and all of the duties that accompany it.
It is now your responsibility to learn and educate yourself about everything pertaining to your position. Talk to your predecessors,
talk to the President or committee leader or advisor, speak to other school’s committee members in your same position,
network, use industry resources such as forums and publications related to your committee and position. Simply put, it is
up to you to be proactive to allow yourself to be the best you can be at your new committee position. Become knowledgeable
and execute with the trust and expectation that accompanies your position. Your committee and members are turning to you for
your input and advice. They are trusting you with the responsibility to present and deliver the right answers and information.
When speaking to outside vendors or contacts you can
identify yourself as he new representative at your position to establish your identity and new relationship with that person,
but do not use or hide behind the fact that you are new or may have never done this before. You will soon find that these
professionals who serve the school marketplace know and understand that committee members regularly change, and are usually
more than willing to share their knowledge and experiences, and will educate and assist you with obtaining the proper understanding
in order to make the best decisions.
Dedication And Commitment
As you operate from
the proper and productive perspective and gain the knowledge, understanding and confidence to embrace your new position, it
is important to have the necessary level of dedication and commitment. Treat your committee position similar to a job or similar
desired responsibility. While you probably have not aspired for many years to find yourself in your new position, many
successful committee members have found themselves performing at their best by treating their position similar to a job or
work position. Dedicate specific time for your committee responsibilities. Don’t try to “squeeze it in on
the side in your spare time”. Make the necessary time and commitment and treat this as a rewarding position, continually
do your best and be proud of your accomplishments and achievements.
following these pointers you will achieve success in your term at your committee position, and when the day comes for you
to finally step down and hand over your position to the next recipient, you can take pride in having done a great job that
made a difference, while evolving the position to it’s current level allowing you to leave it in a better and more successful