By Jess Livinghouse
Some 350,000 students in Chicago will continue to miss school as the Chicago Teachers’ Union strike carries on into its second week. However, Chicago Public School students are not the only ones being affected by the protest.
Loyola University Chicago School of Education students are also locked out by the strike.
Loyola junior Catharine McCarron, an education and history double-major, is one of the students feeling the effects of the strike.
“We are supposed to start our ‘clinicals’ on Oct. 15,” she said, “however with the strike taking place the teachers will not have enough time to get acquainted with their students before we come in to student teach.”
In an email to Loyola University Chicago students, Chris Skrable, Loyola’s service earning program manager, instructed students, “not to cross the picket line” or to be “functioning to replace or substitute for the normal teaching activities of CPS teachers.”
Skrable also stated in the email that Loyola has asked instructors of these service-learning courses to be accommodating in the event that the strike continues and students are unable to meet the minimum hour requirements.
For Loyola’s School of Education students, clinical experiences generally last for five weeks and are a crucial part of earning a degree in education as they give students with an opportunity to gain first hand teaching experience.
As to where Loyola students will be teaching, McCarron says that’s up in the air.
“We’ve been told they’re looking into charter schools or possibly making up missed hours by teaching on Saturday’s but at this point nothing is certain. Student teaching is nerve-racking enough as it is, but all this uncertainty makes it that much more stressful.”
Despite this anxiety, McCarron is careful not to pick a side in the debate just yet.
“It will be very interesting to see what happens after this issue is no longer on the front page. Will the teachers continue to fight for what is best for students, or will they just settle for higher salaries?”