Teachers Encourage Us to Forge Ahead #ThankATeacher

By Amy McCooe, Co-Founder Level Up Village

My favorite teachers were always the ones that believed more in me than I believed in myself.  With a twinkle in their eye they would let me try,  fail and then gently encourage me to try again.  Even though I would become extremely frustrated with myself, I can still distinctly feel the patient presence of my favorite teachers urging me to forge ahead.

For instance, I will never forget Mr. Paolissi in 4th grade who helped me understand the underlying components of geometry when I thought that the vocabulary alone would undo me. It was because of his personalized attention that geometry then became my best math subject in high school.

Having grown up in a family of teachers, I could see the passion they brought to work every day. Moreover, they seemed to have an innate ability to see each child differently.  I recognize that same special quality in my children’s teachers, and it is refreshing to realize that this is a common thread among educators, no matter what decade.

These experiences and others made me realize that teaching is an extraordinary calling. Teachers often make a profound impact on their students by not only inspiring intellectual curiosity, but also building confidence, character and even global awareness.

Screenshot 2016-05-04 15.18.11

Nathan Lutz at Kent Place School guides students through an engineering exercise during Level Up Village’s Global Storybook Engineers course. With his help, students learned to apply design thinking, while sharing what they learned with partners in Peru via video message exchange.

At Level Up Village, we’re focused on helping teachers provide global education opportunities equitably, so students in classrooms around the world can learn the STEAM skills that will prepare them for the jobs of the future, while simultaneously developing the global competency they will need to navigate our world.

We’re grateful to the many teachers who are helping us fulfill our mission, whether it’s working with us to develop curriculum for new courses, providing us with valuable feedback to help improve our communication platform, or celebrating with us those special moments in class when students realize they are no longer just STEAM pals, but also friends with their global partners halfway across the world.


For Alema Nasim, Manager Professional Development for iEARN Pakistan, her favorite Level Up Village STEAM course to teach is Global Inventors. “The 3D modeling and designing course provides greater learning that they really enjoy. It also opens up doors to the field of robotics and future technology skills at an early age.”


Medical student Jehona Krasniqi teaches Level Up Village STEAM courses for The Ideas Partnership in Kosovo, an NGO that provides educational enrichment to children in the Ashkali community. With her guidance and support, students have learned about water chemistry and the global water crisis. At the end of the course, one student declared, “I’m a scientist now!”