Baking, light accounting, filling orders, these are some of the skills Kimberly Politz, a teacher at Coppell Middle School North helps her students learn to prepare them for life beyond school.
Politz is a Transitional Pathways Special Education teacher. She said she aims to help her students learn job skills in the areas of communication, money management and customer service. To fulfill her goal, she and her students created the PA Baking Company.
“I was trying to encompass everything together and came up with this,” Politz said. “I wrote a grant with the Coppell Education Program. They funded my first year, and it's been taking off and getting bigger since.”
Each week, students choose what they would like to make. Throughout the week, they receive orders from teachers and staff while learning to make their baked goods. Each Friday, the students deliver the teachers’ orders.
“The other teachers love it,” Politz said. “They look forward to Fridays. Because the students are in the classroom for a good part of their day for academics, this gets us out around the building meeting other teachers and meeting other kids.”
Students rotate jobs every week, so everyone has experience in each part of the process. If one of the weeks falls on a student’s birthday, that student becomes a shift leader choosing the recipe and delegating who does what for the week.
“We have a lot of backgrounds and cultures in the classroom that are forged by food, celebration, and family, so learning how to cook for your family and giving them something you made with love is rewarding,” Politz said.