BY LEONEL AYALA
Photo courtesy of The Chaparral. Professor Sandra Rice teaching COD students English.
There is an English professor at COD who’s exceptionally talented, giving and just a good person all around. Professor Sandra Rice teaches English to many international, foreign and domestic students who come to College of The Desert. She mainly teaches English to Spanish students but is fluent in Spanish and has studied Greek, Hebrew and Portuguese.
Professor Rice has a full schedule, teaching Comprehensive English Level 1 Monday-Thursday at 8:30 a.m. and a one hour Conversation class at 11:30 a.m. Also, she recently started substituting to help a colleague of hers. Professor Rice says, “I love immigrants and I think teachers make a bridge to the culture here and without my relationship with them then there’s no learning taking place. Language learning is culture learning.”
If Rice doesn’t teach the students how to speak basic, better or any English, she believes their education future in the United States and elsewhere could be hindered. Rice says knowing better English could impact a higher pay in the workforce.
Rice graduated from an accredited Bible college, completed one year of pre-requisites and two years at Cal State San Bernardino (CSUSB) for her ESL English Composition Tesol Masters degree. Rice is from Northern California and has been teaching at COD since 2009.
Professor Rice has also worked with churches teaching immigrants English in Mexico for 18 years and Uruguay for 12. She’s also lived in Spain, studied in Uruguay and in Guadalajara. She met her husband in Mexico who also did missionary work. Rice wanted to be a missionary ever since she was nine years old.
Rice tutored for the Desert Sands Unified School District (DSUSD) teaching struggling students after school. Rice also plays piano and sings at her church, River of Life.