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  • Writer's pictureKAIT BEDELL

Education students deal with impact of teachers strike

Newton Educators took to the streets from Jan. 19 to Feb. 5 going on strike after contract negotiations fell through. While the teacher strike has affected Newton as a whole, it has also impacted students and faculty members within the education department at Lasell.


According to Professor of Education Amy Maynard, there are several pre-practicum and practicum students from Lasell who have been placed in various Newton schools for their student teaching programs.


“My Early Literacy Teaching and Learn- ing class had nine students from Lasell placed in Newton schools for one half day each week, so we were following the news of the strike on the Instagram site through- out the entire time,” Maynard said.


While Newton students were out of school, Lasell created alternatives for student-teachers to continue their education experience by doing reading assessments in early development at The Barn or teaching lessons using avatars through the Murshion Teach Live program, Maynard said.


“These activities were essential in making sure that LU education students continued to engage in teaching practices even during the strike,” Maynard said.


Sophomore early childhood education major Emily Varga said that not having the proper amount of time in a classroom setting was an obstacle for both Lasell education students as well as members of the Newton school district.


“As a student who needs a certain number of hours in the classroom, not being able to go into school for two weeks was a frustrating setback,” Varga said.


Despite the various ways the strike impacted Varga’s learning, she said that she does support the cause that the educators were advocating for.


“As a future teacher, I fully support and respect the effort the Newton teachers put into the strike and their persistence to make a change in something that they had been working toward for a long time,” Varga said.


The strike, which lasted eleven days, is now under a legal debacle from Newton families issuing a class-action lawsuit for the absence of students in the classroom. Despite these efforts from Newton families, this lawsuit has been dismissed.


As Newton educators looked to gain attention within the school district, the battle came over a contract negotiation that they had been fighting for in recent years.


Maynard said that included in these negotiations was the hope from strikers for an implementation of social workers within the Newton school district.


“We are thrilled that Newton is committed to the needs of the whole child and know that the increased presence of mental health professionals will support the work LU students do with teachers and staff,” Maynard said.


Additionally, Maynard said that Lasell students work “collaboratively” with the school district and that they will continue to do this to address the needs of students.


“We are so appreciative of our partnership with the Newton school district and we are looking forward to working closely with them now tha

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