ART TOON FOR THE WEEK OF March 13, 2018
I wrote in one of the issues, in February that it was going to be a very busy and important month for my department. I feel that I proved this by writing about how successful my students had been over the last few weeks. Well, all of these wins have made me feel quite honored as an art educator. I am proud to teach so many talented young artists. I also mentioned that I thought “March was even going to be better and perhaps even busier”.
So far, I cannot say that it has become better, but I can say that I think it may be one of the most stressful months that I and every other teacher in Oklahoma has had for many a year. I will talk more about that later, right now I need to start by mentioning our upcoming flea market. I am going to tell you about it and our bar-b-cue dinner and then I am going to tell you about some possible problems.
This will be our 2nd Annual Mooreland Flea Market and it will be our seventh year for our delicious Bar-B-Que Dinner at the Elementary Cafeteria & Gym. All of this will occur on Saturday, April 14. The Flea Market will open to the public at 9 am and will run until 5:30 pm. The dinner will start at 4:30 pm and we will be ladling out great food till 7:30 pm. We have already started selling tickets for the dinner and started collecting rental information for booth spaces.
I need to get some of these spaces rented as soon as possible, so I can get an idea of what size the flea market will be. So, please if you have any items in your garage, your closet, your attic that you would like to sell, get ahold of me at school or at the Mooreland house as soon as possible at 580-994-6158. So, I would guess that you think that at least one of the possible problems I am talking about, is needing more booth rentals. While we really need to get as many entries filled as we can as soon as possible, there are some more important things that I need to bring up.
I would like to start with some problems that the students in my department are having and I think almost every Mooreland senior will be facing, if they haven’t already. The problem is a simple one, how do they get guaranteed money for college in a tough economic year. I know that our counselor, Mrs. Marsha Bowers is really trying to help our kids to look for scholarships and grants as soon as possible. She is working her heart out, searching for every academic dollar she can get for these students. The problem is, it is usually up to the students and their parents to look for the grants and scholarships that are more departmentalized, such as monies for the fine arts, agriculture, and several others.
I know that getting money for my students and other Mooreland seniors, is not in my job description but I have learned a little about specialized scholarships, over a third of a century of teaching and even more years of being a parent. As a teacher, especially in Oklahoma, I never made enough to promise my kids a good education if they didn’t get a lot of it paid for themselves. So, in hopes that this helps some of the seniors and their parents, here are some hints on fixing a few possible shortfalls.
First, (especially this year) If your child is waiting till after Spring Break to get out to area schools, they may already be too late. Hopefully, there are still a few specialized scholarships and grants still out there, but if they don’t apply NOW, they will have to wait till after the 26th of March, because all Oklahoma Universities go on Spring Break on the 19th and won’t return until the following week.
Second, many of my fellow Fine Art Teachers across the state, are telling their students (if they haven't already) to get out there this week, before all departmentalized monies has been passed out. I know it sounds silly to say, "beat the rush", but that is exactly what our Mooreland students need to do. There is just so much that a High School counselor can do to help these students. My kids, found that they had to do a lot of the work themselves. I will praise my own kids here, because they really hustled and got every dime they could back then. It really helped.
Third, in the current state budget crunch, free money is beginning to dwindle especially for departments like the fine arts. One of the ways of cutting back for advanced learning institutions, is to give the same limited amount of scholarships as before, but not to any one single department but to a complete educational area, thus spreading the same or less money over a larger area. The Fine Arts now cover graphic arts, photography, chorus, instrumental music, drama, theater, dance, arts education, creative writing and a few more I can't even think of right now. Not all schools are doing this as yet, but you can bet it is bound to happen to most state colleges as less money filter in. Oh, and by the way I have noticed that many religious and or private schools have already had to raise tuition and or cut scholarships. Tough economic times means less donations, less donations means less scholarships to pass out.
The final problem I see coming up very quickly, is the possible walk out of school teachers, and other state employees. While I do not think this will affect university professors and their departments, it could affect getting specific help from secondary school teachers across the state. Will a walk-out be called, who knows for sure (but the opinion of this old Art Teacher is that it very well might happen), and the disruption could interrupt schools at all levels, to one extreme or another. As the teachers on the east coast found out, it could take many days and possibly weeks to settle anything. With kids not in school, things like interviews for scholarships will probably be moved to a later date when there is no money left. Do I know all that all these possible problems will come about, of course not, but my advice to my students and parents… GET TO THE COLLEGES BEFORE NEXT MONDAY!
Oh, I also need to mention that if the teacher walk-out is allowed to happen by the State Government’s lack to solve these problems, it may impact the date on our dinner and flea market. I will let everyone know if there are any changes.
Artistically yours, Mr. Robert Beatley
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