Amanda Littlefield, fifth-grade teacher at Roosevelt Elementary School in Miami, has been named Teacher of the Year by the local Wal-Mart Supercenter.

“I was shell-shocked,” she said of how she felt when she found out. “It was a complete surprise.

“Mr. (Frank) Hecksher said something to me about needed in to be in school the next day, but I never thought it would be for something like this.”

The presentation was made earlier this month at the school where Littlefield teaches and Hecksher serves as principal.

“The teachers in our area are superb,” Chuck Stotts, manager of Wal-Mart, said. “The selection process was not an easy one, but we are happy to recognize Amanda Littlefield and share this great news with the community.”

Littlefield does not know how she received the honor.

All she has been told is that a student or the parent of a student in her class nominated her.

This is Littlefield's first year to teach fifth grade. “I think I'm a better teacher in fifth grade,” Littlefield said. “The students are more individualistic, more self-sufficient, yet they are young enough that they don't always get the bluff when you pull it on them.”

She previously taught transitional first grade and first grade at Roosevelt.

“I think to be a good teacher you have to be genuinely involved with your students and their lives,” Littlefield said. “The teacher's role today is so much more than just teaching. You are often a parent and a friend.”

Littlefield received a grant for $1,000 for Roosevelt Elementary School.

“We're already discussing spending it on writing and science curriculum for the fifth grade,” Littlefield said.

She personally received a $100 gift card for class supplies and a “Teacher of the Year” polo shirt.

“The school year is just ending,” she said. “I haven't had a chance to think about what to spend the gift certificate on.

“I do know it will be for something fun and special.”