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Kate Poortenga

Kate Poortenga
Kate Poortenga
6th grade teacher
Groups: Middle School
Employed Since: 8/1/2012
10 Years Experience At School

Growing up in Woodland, MI I learned the importance of hard work as my family farmed and everyone was expected to help. Coming home from school to pack onions all fall and winter, and spending my summer vacation in the muck fields, I made a promise to myself that I would go to college and get away from the farm.  I attended Calvin College where I received a bachelor’s in education and later continued my studies there to complete a Masters in curriculum and instruction. I came to Rehoboth Christian School in 2012 after teaching overseas in Nicaragua for five years. My experience as an ex-pat taught me much and instilled in me a desire to live with and learn from other cultures.  As I looked to move back to the States I couldn’t imagine living in the same West Michigan culture in which I was raised, so when the opportunity to teach at Rehoboth came up it felt like a clear choice.

I love working with the zany middle school kids, loving them and laughing with them.  Their passion for life and the ever unexpected thoughts and ideas mean every day is an adventure.  In the sixth grade High Desert Horizons we also get the opportunity to get out of the classroom and into our community.  I love the chance to expand the horizons of my students, to push them to think beyond themselves, and to connect with the amazing people and landscapes of this diverse area. In my classroom, I push my students to dare bravely.  We often talk about how learning is hard, but how we need to approach every opportunity with courage, being ready to try new things, fail, and reconsider. My deep hope for myself and my students is that as we push ourselves outside, we dream of a world as God desires it to be, and are empowered to bring about meaningful change.