Rebekah Mayfield, a fifth grade teacher at Poplarville Upper Elementary, was chosen out of seven thousand entries in “McAlister’s Most Deserving Teacher” contest. Mrs. Mayfield was nominated by her mother, Christy Wegmann, for her excellence in teaching and for being instrumental in the incorporation of technology in the classrooms at Poplarville Upper Elementary. She was honored with a surprise luncheon catered by Wiggin’s McAlister’s Deli on May 7, 2018. During the luncheon, Mrs. Mayfield received a two hundred fifty dollar Visa gift card and the framed proposal that her mother had written. The Poplarville Upper Elementary fifth grade team of teachers, who are not just colleagues but best of friends, shared her excitement and were extremely proud of her when they were told the wonderful news just prior to surprising her at the luncheon.
Mrs. Mayfield won the “McAlister’s Most Deserving Teacher Award” because she stood out among the other nominees for various reasons. However, one of the main reasons that Mrs. Mayfield is deserving of this award is that she strives to provide students with the most innovative lessons to help them develop a love for learning that will last a lifetime. One way that Mrs. Mayfield is able to do this is by researching and attending workshops. After attending a “Google Summit” workshop, she eagerly shared what she learned with her colleagues and administrators and encouraged the use of technology in all classrooms.
Mrs. Mayfield has used Chromebooks in her classroom to help her students become avid readers and writers. During writing, she is able to monitor and provide feedback in real time with her students through technology. She has introduced virtual reality headsets into her classroom to provide students with an opportunity to experience field trips to foreign countries and even “time travel” to historical events to build the students schema of experiences to help them better understand and comprehend their reading assignments.
Mrs. Mayfield and Mr. Burge, a colleague at Poplarville Upper Elementary, were chosen to be presenters at technology conferences to educate other teachers on the benefits of using technology in the elementary classrooms. This was an exciting opportunity to share knowledge with other school districts. Most of these conferences focus on technology uses in high school and college level instruction, therefore, Mrs. Mayfield was able to be an advocate for incorporating technology usage among elementary students.
The excitement that Mrs. Mayfield has shown has been contagious throughout Poplarville Upper Elementary. Mr. Payne, the principal at Poplarville Upper Elementary, has been a driving force in helping to put a Chromebook in the hand of every student. He has given teachers an opportunity to use technology to enrich their lessons. He has been supportive of allowing teachers to attend conferences and workshops which allows teachers the opportunities to further their knowledge.
Mrs. Mayfield’s colleagues agree with Mrs. Wegmann’s statement, “She deserves to be recognized – she’s really a great teacher.” Mrs. Mayfield’s energy and love of teaching will continue as she pursues her new position as an English teacher at Poplarville High School next year.