(VNF) - Graduated from the world’s leading university, welcomed by many prestigious corporations, however Van Tan Hoang Vy decided to open school for Vietnamese American children in the US to help them connected with the homeland.
Van Tan Hoang Vy (third from left) with teachers at Van Houston
Why majored in math but you choose to work in the field of education?
I studied mathematics at high school, then got a scholarship to study mathematics at university. After graduation, most college friends choose the field of banking investment because of its high income.
However, I was "charmed" with teaching after one time following a professor to teach students in poor areas in the UK. The pupils studied passionately and their score moved from C, D to B, A. I had very strange joyful feelings when teaching in class.
I choose to teach in one of Houston's most exclusive schools, because I believe this is where students need help the most.
How do you prepare to open a school?
I began by enrolling for a master's degree course at Stanford University in the United States in 2012. Two years at Stanford helped me accumulate more specialized knowledge in the philosophy of education, and how to inspire students.
I also connect with and receive advice from many of America's leading educational specialists. After graduating from Stanford, I worked at a private school which was founded by a Stanford student.
Here, I learned more about how to set up, organize the school, how to choose and train teachers. These are the experiences when I embarked on the opening of Van Houston.
Why do you choose Vietnamese American students to teach?
In the United States, many Vietnamese parents do not know English, they do not know about the education system to advise their children. That is not to mention generation gap between parents and children that is endlessly lengthened due to linguistic and cultural disagreement.
I open the school with the hope of contributing partly to solve the problem. In addition to providing knowledge, soft skills, we also open seminars to consult parents as well as listen from them.
Can you share more about the school's educational philosophy?
Our school has about 20 teachers and nearly 300 students. We apply a transforming after school program – pick up students and teach them outside of regular school hours.
We teach students from grades 1 to 12 subjects such as math, reading, writing, natural sciences and the social sciences, SAT. All subjects are taught in English.
When I founded Van Houston I did not want to teach students to get the highest score in the fastest time. We want students to really love learning, and consider learning to be a way to help them discover their passion, potential.
We inspire students through the curriculum I have compiled by myself. Instead of traditional teaching methods, all lessons are designed in the form of games, extra curricular activities to make students enjoy the subject.
I even wrote music for math, to help students easily absorb mathemetic formula. In addition, students can also apply what they learn in practice through group projects.
Do you have any project in Vietnam?
That is my dream for many years. However, Van Houston is still new, so I have a lot of work to do. When the model is stable in quality, I will bring the program to Vietnam.
Maybe I will start from Nha Trang. I will pay special attention to areas where children are more disadvantaged.
Excellent teacher in America
Van Tan Hoang Vy is a former mathematics student at Le Quy Don High School (Khanh Hoa), then received a full scholarship in the UK in 10th grade.
Graduating in the top 3 in mathematics at Imperial College London, Hoang Vy began his teaching career in Houston, USA.
He was named Best Teacher of the Year at Sam Houston High School.