NYS PTA President’s Take on Balance

By Lorey A. Zaman, President

It is hard to believe we are already one month into 2019.

Not sure about all of you, but it seems the older I get the busier life gets. With four children, a full-time career and my role as NYS PTA President, life is very full.

I have decided it is all about balance. Finding this balance, however, is not easy.

I understand the need to invest my time and energy in my family, and after participating in the 2016 Lifetouch Memory Mission, I am intentional in always placing them first.

As far as my career goes, well as most of you are well aware, work not only satisfies our need for personal, professional impact, but the bottom line is we all have bills to pay.

These two aspects of life tend to leave very little time left over.

As I travel around the state in my new role and even before with all my years of volunteering, I often hear there is simply no time left for PTA. This is where balance comes in.

Imagine for a second if we all said there was no time left for PTA.

Think about all of our advocacy efforts that support all children that would never have happened.

Over the years PTA has been integral in establishing programs and calling for legislation for hot and healthy lunch programs in our schools, mandatory immunizations and child labor laws, to name a few.

Recently here in New York we have had many critical advocacy wins.

  • We have fought and won the battle to keep e-cigarettes off school grounds and include them in the Clean Indoor Air Act;
  • We have advocated to expand graduation pathways and now have a superintendents determination for certain students in special education;
  • We now have federally funded state Family Engagement Centers; and
  • Students are now required to learn about mental health in their health education classes.

It is not the quantity of time you have to give, it is the quality. It is not about one or a few investing this time, but rather every one of our 300,000 members state-wide committing to making this world a better place for all children, one moment at a time.

I challenge you to look at balance slightly differently. What if you had a few moments to make a difference volunteering with PTA, what would you advocate for?

Rather than looking at how little time you have left for volunteering, instead look at what will you do with the little time you do have. If each of us approaches the day with this lens, all our children will win.

What we are able to accomplish together is way more meaningful than whatever we have ever accomplished alone.