Christy Porterfield is a foundational member of the Providence community, who has taught in various grammar school capacities since the school’s first year. “The Providence community is unique because it truly feels like a family,” says Mrs. Porterfield. “Teaching collaboratively alongside co-teachers for the past ten years, my absolute favorite memories are of the character growth we have witnessed in our students as we work cooperatively to shepherd them. A child’s relationship with his co-teacher will last far beyond my one year with him, and it is a joy to serve shoulder to shoulder with co-teachers and provide students with the opportunity to grow in their appreciation, gratitude, and respect for their parents.” She smiles. “It is a special treat to send home a note to parents and let them know that the fruit of their training at home is really playing out at school.”
A Texas native, Mrs. Porterfield is a graduate of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor with a BA degree in Elementary Education specializing in reading. Christy and her husband, Russell, have been blessed with two adventurous boys, Joshua and Caleb. And though Christy spent four years teaching in a public school, it is her experience with homeschooling her own children that has continued to fuel her passion for education. “I am passionate about fostering my students’ love for learning, discovery, and exploring that takes place in and beyond the classroom. It has been rewarding to receive videos, photos, and emails from home days in which students wanted to share something new they had discovered about the creatures we are studying.”
Teaching math and science are twin passions for Mrs. Porterfield. As a fourth grade teacher at Providence, she especially enjoys teaching zoology. “My prayer is that as we study zoology, we will all fall deeper in love with the Designer and Creator of all things. As with many lessons, I enjoy the opportunity to bring in and provide actual animals for the students to observe, compare and draw to encourage depth of understanding,” she explains. Over the years, her students have interacted with many of God’s wonderful creations, including reptiles, birds and various furry critters. In addition, students participate in an annual science fair and enjoy hands-on lab experiences featuring everything from fish dissection to owl pellets. A highlight of the year is the Wild Things Zoofari, a traveling animal show that comes right to the classroom. In the past, students have had the opportunity to touch porcupines, chinchillas, toucans, lemurs, baby kangaroos and even a serval kitten.
The chicken egg incubation and hatching unit is always a thrill for the students. Mrs. Porterfield relates a recent experience: “The egg incubation lasts for 21 days, and my prayer was that the students would be able to observe this process completely. We arrived at school on a Tuesday to see two little ones had already emerged from their shells and were exploring the inside of the incubator. There were several more eggs and my prayer was for the students to experience this hatching fully. One of our chicks hatched right at the beginning of science class!! There were great gasps, enthusiastic cheers, and appreciation to the Lord for being able to see this happen live. Then another chick arrived right at the end of science class. One of the chicks was a bright yellow and the other was a deep black.
The students were excited as they were able to see how beautifully unique each chick was. The chick that hatched out first was cheeping as if to encourage the one trying to hatch. One student commented, ‘Mrs. Porterfield, isn’t it nice how that one helped the other one break free. They made a great team!’ I thought how amazing it was for her to realize that working together in this way was His design all along. It brought to mind Ecclesiastes 4:12, ‘Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.’”
It is easy to see that Mrs. Porterifeld’s dedication to her students and love for God infuses not only what she does, but who she is. As she says, “My prayer is that we will see our students interacting with humility, honor, gratitude, and virtue as they continue to mature and grow into godly young men and women.”