Teachers could use more than an apple this fall

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published August 23, 2017

METRO DETROIT — Students aren’t the only ones getting ready to head back to the classroom in a few weeks. 

Teachers are gearing up for a new school year too, but there aren’t many shoe sales or backpack promotions aimed at the ones standing in front of the blackboard day after day. 

But there should be, if you ask Steven Kalczynski, managing director of the Townsend Hotel in downtown Birmingham. The hotel’s adjacent bakery is offering teachers a free large coffee or choice of muffin with a valid school ID Sept. 5-8. Teachers can also enter an on-site drawing to win a one-night stay in a luxury room at the Townsend Hotel.

“For teachers, back to school means back to one of the hardest jobs there is,” said Kalczynski. “So we just wanted to acknowledge their dedication with a little something fun and free to start off their school year.”

It’s a tough gig indeed, and it requires tools that can withstand the task. Leah Schafer, a Waterford resident and elementary school teacher, said that if she could ask for one gift this back-to-school season, it would be for parents to take a second look at that ol’ supply list that gets sent home.

“We’re very appreciative of the supplies that are sent in. It’s incredibly helpful if some parents — those who are able to, that is — send in duplicates, as not all families can afford supplies,” Schafer explained. “When we request a specific brand, we don’t mean to be picky and irritating, but we know which brands work best.”

And since many teachers have to pay for their own supplies to teach their students, any little bit of help is appreciated. The National Education Association has loads of tips on its website to help teachers reduce the out-of-pocket expense it takes to do their job. Parent Teacher Association groups are a great place to start to ask for help, but schools and teacher groups can also look for help outside the school walls. 

The NEA website has tips for families too, including tips on how parents can best communicate with teachers to improve outcomes for their students.

For more information, visit www.NEA.org.

The Townsend Bakery is located at 175 W. Merrill St. in downtown Birmingham.