Rice inspires students
LaPorte High School is proud to employ many wonderful teachers who deeply care about their students and are passionate about teaching. This year has not been an easy one to say the least, but teachers are adapting and learning through it all. One of these amazing teachers is Mrs. Rice, science teacher at LPHS.
Mrs. Rice has been teaching for 27 years and has always loved science and learning about it. From an early age, she found herself being fascinated by the subject, and this stuck with her throughout her life.
“I had a natural love of nature. My primary degree from Valparaiso University is biology with chemistry as a supporting area. Science was always a strong subject for me because I enjoyed learning about the topics,” Rice said.
Rice was inspired to become a science teacher by some of her high school teachers and her experience in student teaching. Interactions with students and the motivation that comes with that is something that pushes her everyday.
“I did not realize how much I was going to enjoy teaching until I did my student teaching. I love interacting with students. Students motivate me to be the best teacher that I can be for them everyday. It pushes me to do the grading, to develop labs, to find new activities, and more,” Rice said.
Rice is a fan of interactive class work. Labs, projects, and fun activities are not uncommon in her classroom.
“I had a couple of teachers in high school that I thought did some cool activities that made the material more memorable even if I did not enjoy the topic. I did enjoy science, so I wanted to bring that same idea to those topics,” Rice said.
Going on field trips is also a perk for Rice’s students, especially for those in her AP Environmental Science (APES) class. As much as the students enjoy them, Rice looks forward to them for a number of reasons.
“I really enjoy the field trips that I get to go on with my APES class. We get to be outside in nature, and I get to know them so much better during these outings. Developing relationships with students is an important part of teaching for me,” Rice said.
Rice’s impact has reached beyond the classroom. Cross country also has been an avenue that she has made connections with students. A runner in college, Rice coached at LPHS. She wanted to use a more inclusive technique for coaching, one that didn’t just favor the best on the team.
“I wanted to bring the sport along with me and the ideas that every runner is important, not just the top few. Even though I was a top runner, I felt that some of the other athletes were not treated the same. I want to develop a program where every lady on my team felt important,” Rice said.
Outside of school, Rice is an avid gamer, and she enjoys reading, volunteering, spending time with her family, and being outside in nature.
“I am a ‘gamer’ and enjoy playing all sorts of games, cards, board games, video games. I also love to read a good book, both fiction and nonfiction. My kids and all of their activities have been my focus for 18 years. I have stayed very involved in everything they do such as volunteering as team mom, parent board, and such. I like to be outside gardening or hiking,” Rice said.
Regardless of what she is doing, Rice is undoubtedly leaving the people and places around her better than when she found them.