"My name is Trex Proffitt and I've served as a professor at F&M, Muhlenberg College, Emory University, and the University of California. After a career in higher education, I became a middle school teacher in 2016. My family and I have lived in Lancaster since 2005. My wife works as a house dean at F&M, my daughter is a rising junior at F&M, and my son is entering his last year of high school at the Hill School.
I love teaching middle school students because their growing brains are as capable as they'll ever be, but they also are young and playful, so they have fun while they learn.
Fun fact: I've walked across a bed of hot coals twice in my life. It was easier than teaching. I'm a level 1 squash coach and have been coaching and organizing squash since 1995."
"My name is Chris Collins. I have lived in Lancaster County for the last 23 years. My ancestry traces deeply into Quaker lineage, including William Penn and Margaret Fell, and I have been a member of various Quaker meetings during my life’s journey.
My first job, like so many other people, was babysitting. I got to babysit for my middle school math teacher, watching her young son and then her infant. I babysat them over the course of several years, watching them grow and change, and I even got the chance to see them in classroom settings in later years. I continued babysitting, working in summer camps, doing weekly childcare for Lancaster Monthly Meeting, and substitute teaching up until the pandemic. In October of 2020, I got the chance to work with a learning Pod in downtown Lancaster serving students of local public schools, mainly Ross Elementary. I'd always been on the fence about teaching as a career path, but this experience really encouraged me to pursue education.
I can still remember one of my first Spanish classes in first grade. My teacher asked if anyone knew the word "arriba" and I pulled my knowledge (guided by the wonderful Dora the Explorer) out of my pocket. I felt such a sense of pride and joy being able to learn another language, and my passion continued from there. I continued taking Spanish through middle and high school, completing my high school's Spanish program, and going on to double major in Spanish and Public Health at F&M, where I am now a senior.
My own education led me through Montessori from 1st to 8th grade, and then to Westtown for a Quaker boarding school experience for high school. My most valuable take away from my education thus far has been that education is about learning how to learn. In my experience, I've learned that learning another language requires conversation and making mistakes. No one will make it through Spanish class, including myself, without tripping up once or twice. These mistakes encourage us to use our resources, to learn how to use a Spanish dictionary, our critical thinking skills, and the words and phrases that we do have to communicate. The exploration of a world to which we have become accustomed through the lens of a new language can be eye-opening and joyful for people of all ages.
I've been involved in Quakerism since I was 6 years old, and have attended Lancaster Monthly Meeting since then. I have recently been invited to become a Member, and will be completing that process soon. I also attended Quaker high school and was a student clerk on the Quaker Leadership Committee there. I also helped out occasionally with FDS on Sundays at the Westtown Meeting, which transitioned nicely into working Sunday childcare at LMM.
My educational interests outside of teaching include American government & politics (hence my Public Health Gov track major), health education, English including creative writing and poetry, and biology.
What I love about teaching: I love experiencing the world through fresh eyes. I have always loved working with kids and hearing what they have to say, they can be some of the best people to talk to. It's such a win for everyone when a student has that moment of realization about a new concept and begins to manipulate it in their own way. I am always honored to be a part of a child's life; every moment is so precious!
Fun fact: I've been to the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador! I was able to go to Ecuador for 3 weeks during my senior year of high school, and I spent one week in Quito, one in Cumbayá, and one in the Amazon. We had to fly in a tiny propellor plane and then go down the Amazon river in a motor-powered boat, and then travel down a smaller stream in a row boat. It was an amazing experience and I would go back to the rainforest in a heartbeat!