The Harper Valley PTA…

I can’t even think the phrase PTA, let alone say it, without thinking “Harper Valley”.  I’m not  even sure that most people would know that song any more, given that the few times I’ve mentioned it here, I’m met only with a polite nod.  But I end up thinking of it often, because well, I somehow ended up on the PTA this year.

The experience of joining a forest school PTA in Denmark.

Not exactly “somehow”.  I volunteered for it earlier at the start of the school year when they asked for parents to step up.  Our PTA (or more correctly, “lokalrad“) is a group of three parents that work with the school on a number of little events (like the Christmas Party) and also serve as a sounding board for various ideas and happenings around the school.  It  hasn’t been overly taxing for participation and frankly, it’s been a great way to learn about the school.  Plus, as this our third year, believe it or not, that makes us one of the most tenured families in the school, and it’s been wonderful to see those that came in with my daughter now take on the “big kid” roles while we try to figure out how to make things easier for those coming in that are youngest or newest.  As it turns out, much of the stuff that we were confused about, isn’t just confusing to us.  I always assumed it was because we weren’t from Denmark, but coming into forest school is quite a bit life change for anyone, Danish or not.  So part of what we focus on here is how to make information more readily available, how do we make it so that we’re not reinventing the wheel every time someone new comes in?

I have to give the PTA a ton of credit for letting me be part of it.  As you can guess, the meetings and communications are in Danish but when we have meetings (which, by the way, gives me plenty of time to sing Harper Valley PTA in my head over and over again), the parents patiently translate for me so that I can participate.  I google translate a lot of the communications but I know I can always ask the school or the other parents when I need help.  And every once in a while when I’m in charge of flyers about an afternoon coffee, they let me make them in English with no hard feelings.  That kind of thing is probably the polar opposite of the PTA in Harper Valley in the famed song, but it’s also what’s made being part of this group a very special experience.

Image by Radek Grzybowski via Unsplash.

1 Comment

  1. […] parents meeting in September.  They were taking volunteers for the “lokalrad“, the equivalent of the PTA, and takers were few.  I didn’t dare raise my hand because I don’t speak Danish but […]


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