Teacher of the Year
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
Harrison County Campus
Maya Wabel deserves recognition not only for her excellent teaching skills, but also for her admirable work ethic and contributions to the Adult Education program over the past five years.
First and foremost, Maya is excellent at building relationships with her students. She gets so excited when her students make progress, and even when they don't, she never stops encouraging them. She empathizes with her students and is always willing to help them apply for accommodations on the GED website. To engage adult learners, Maya incorporates hands-on activities whenever possible. The students can feel how invested she is in their success, and it inspires them to work their hardest.
Maya’s background is in social studies and history. Like many AE instructors, she didn't originally see herself teaching other subjects like math and reading. However, she has been teaching all subjects for almost five years, and has still found ways to incorporate her passion for history into her classes.
Maya also excels at incorporating technology into her class to help her students gain familiarity, and she helps other staff to incorporate technology, as well. When the Adult Education program had the need for an online class, she created an entire Canvas course to service the students that could not attend classes during traditional hours. She was adamant that there should not be a skill level requirement for participation in the online course, and she developed it with this philosophy in mind. Thanks to her efforts, students at all levels have made progress using the online course.
If one word could be used to describe Maya, it’s “selfless.” She teaches a full roster of traditional classroom students in addition to nearly sixty online learners, all while participating in the CCRS Math team. Despite this, she never compromises the quality of her instruction. No matter how much work lies ahead of her, she will ask, "What can I do to help you?" Maya unfortunately broke her knee and had to undergo reconstructive surgery. During physical therapy, she still managed to co-create presentations for New Teachers Academy and New Directors Academy.
Simply put, Maya does not stop, and she will do absolutely anything necessary to ensure the success of AE in our state. The efficiency of her work and the passion of her instruction cannot be matched.