Erin is our Primary (PreK4-K) classroom teacher.
Hello! My name is Erin Hoffman and I am a Montessori trained teacher for pre-k and kindergarten. I will be teaching the kindergarten class at LFS! I'm excited to blend the Montessori methods and materials with the Quaker values. I have taught at 3 different schools (in AZ and PA) over the past 20 years with a few breaks to move back home and have our boys. I'm thrilled and honored to begin this journey at Lancaster Friends School.
A few of my practices and views on teaching:
Follow the child.
Peace education will change the world.
See and hear them with openness to teach and learn from them.
For learning to take place there must be interest, fun, and joy!
Observe and then teach how they learn.
Positive language can change the whole environment.
Honor the love and light within each individual.
Teaching is more than just academics!
Fun fact: I did a summer long archaeological dig through the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. My digging partner and I found such an interesting multipurpose tool that we were on the news after the crew hiked in with their cameras through a river and fields with poisonous snakes!
Kat is our Early Elementary (1st-3rd grade) classroom teacher.
My name is Kat Patterson and I am very excited to join the Lancaster Friends School full-time! I attended Mercersburg Academy for high school, and graduated from Franklin and Marshall College in 2022. Some of my work experience includes substitute teaching, internships at the YWCA of Lancaster and the Migrant Education Program, nannying and babysitting, student athletic training at F&M, restaurant serving, and camp counseling. When I am not working, I spend my time outdoors hiking with my dog, checking out coffee shops around Lancaster, traveling, and baking. I began at LFS helping with after-school care and social media, and I felt welcomed with open arms by students and adults to this supportive community. Now, I am thrilled to begin teaching my own classroom. I love teaching because I feel lucky to watch students grow and learn in ways beyond academically. It was important for me to find a working environment that supported my involvement in social justice, and LFS does more than that; it encourages me to share my experiences and passions with our students! It is important to me to inspire each student to be their individual selves and embrace their identities inside and outside of the classroom. My goal in the near future is to attend Montessori training!
"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 senior at F&M, and my son is entering his first year at Yale.
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."
Rain Smolinsky (they/he)
Rain works with all students K-8 teaching Art.
Hi I’m Rain (they/he). I’m really looking forward to joining the Lancaster Friends School as the new art teacher for the 2023/2024 school year! I have loved art as far back as I can remember. As an animal-loving kid, a lot of my art (poetry, drawings, painting, social organizing) centered around the natural world. Today I continue to love the versatility and possibility that comes with creativity!
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!