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The Story of Jeremy, Can Your Child Go To Harvard? Part 2

Popularity 9Viewed 14986 times 2017-8-12 00:19 |Personal category:Education|System category:Life

When I arrived in Zhengzhou on August 25, 2011, I planned to stay a year. I was going to go back to my comfortable home in the USA and just chalk up another wonderful place I'd been to the more than 20 countries I'd already visited. However, after just one month, my eyes were opened to something that I didn't expect. It has caused me to stay here more than 5.5 years now.

I was working with a company that provides foreign, native English speaking teachers to Chinese schools. This company had a 'cooperation' with numerous schools throughout Henan. I was teaching 20 classes a week at the top middle school in Zhengzhou. Then, they called me and asked me if I wanted more. I said, "Sure. Bring it on. 20 classes a week is easy. I need more." 

They first suggested 4 more classes. Then, as I started doing promotional lessons at several schools, that number grew to 12 rather quickly. I was teaching 32 classes a week and delighted to do so. I had a blast (a lot of fun). Students were great and quite receptive to my teaching style. I played my guitar and taught them more than a dozen songs.

At a primary school that was directly affiliated to Zhengzhou University, I was teaching primary school students in addition to 4 classes of students in the Masters degree program at the university. One day, one of the primary school classes was moved to a different classroom onto the campus of the university. There was some kind of testing going on and they needed our regular classroom.

After class that day, a 6th grader stayed and wanted to talk to me. Now, I'd had trouble communicating with the middle school's English teachers. I couldn't imagine such a young student wanting to 'talk' to me, a native English speaking foreigner. His name was Jeremy Hua.

Jeremy did a good job in letting me know that he wanted me to be his English teacher permanently. He told me that his mother was requiring him to learn 20 new English words every day. I was impressed with that and agreed to be his permanent teacher.

Jeremy took my classes every year. He never failed to take my classes and rarely missed a class. He said that his mother insisted that a native English teacher be the only one allowed to teach him. She wanted me. He wanted me. And I certainly wanted to teach him.

After 4 years, I had taken Jeremy as far as I could take him without taking the next step, an advanced step in a Chinese student's English education. It was time to begin preparing him for the SAT. I knew by the time that he started high school that he wanted to study in the USA. His mother had even registered him for summer camp at the famous Choate Rosemary Hall Prep School in Connecticut. It was the same school where President John F. Kennedy and most of his family had attended. It also happened to the high school where Ivanka Trump went.

I was teaching Jeremy SAT English while also preparing him for the TOEFL exam. Then, last year, I had an interruption in my tenure of teaching in China and had to stay in America for six months. There is a law that is rarely enforced in most provinces that require foreigners to 'sit out' six months after they've spent 5 consecutive years working in China. Henan happened to be one of the provinces that required it. Fortunately, my daughter and her husband had come to Zhengzhou and was able to carry on with Jeremy's classes.

In the beginning of this summer, 2017, Jeremy took the SAT soon after he had taken the TOEFL exam. His TOEFL score was 109; good enough to get him into any school in the USA including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford or any other. His SAT score came back at 1520 (out of 1600). This placed Jeremy in the top .25% of all of the 2 million students who took the exam this year. His score is good enough to get him into any school in the USA that he wants to go. And, like Victoria in my other post about amazing Chinese students, he will likely go on a full scholarship. This means that it will cost his family very little for him to attend a top university in the world.

Can your child go to Harvard? The answer is, with the right preparation they can. If students are doing it in Henan, I believe that they can in other parts of China as well.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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Reply Report GhostBuster 2017-8-12 20:54
Harvard may be the best university in the world. However, how many top brains were educated in Harvard? Most important is not all top scientists are from Harvard. So, next do not think too highly of Harvard. If one is a scholar, one is a scholar no matter where one is to be educated. If one is not, one is not.
Reply Report LeonardWong 2017-8-17 11:10
Consider where you intend to work and what value the university's qualification has.
Reply Report Jaaja 2017-8-17 16:15
I've been at this before, but I repeat again. "There is a law that is rarely enforced in most provinces " - there is no such law in China. Some provincial officials just want to avoid the trouble of making a foreigner establish long term residency in China, with world-wide tax implications. They are breaking the law, not enforcing it.
Reply Report Swifty55 2017-8-17 16:28
Nice that the student worked hard to get into Harvard. Having a Harvard degree for some works out well. If the Chinese student can get into Harvard they should be able to get into Peking University. Why go to the USA where it is unsafe for Americans let alone a Chinese.
Reply Report Jaaja 2017-8-17 17:11
Why? Because Harvard degree is indefinitely more useful in international career, than Peking University degree. PU only carries similar value inside China. If you aspire of career in USA, Europe, or even somewhere in Asia other than China, Harvard degree is much more valuable.
Reply Report Swifty55 2017-8-17 23:15
Jaaja: Why? Because Harvard degree is indefinitely more useful in international career, than Peking University degree. PU only carries similar value inside C ...
Ture but most Chinese return to China Plus if your have not mastered English a degree from Harvard with a 75% average means nothing. Now if you end up in the top 10% of your class then by all means it is better. But really how many Chinese end up in the top 10% in any USA university? Maybe 1 out of 10,000.If you do not want to return to China then yes Harvard Degree is better.
Reply Report 空谷幽兰 2017-9-19 10:58
Very good!
Reply Report tsd 2017-10-23 15:31
an inspiring story, brilliant!

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Michael is the author of the transformational book, Powerful Attitudes. He is a professional educator, an educational consultant, an author. He lives in Zhengzhou, Henan Province. He enjoys playing guitar and writing poetry. He loves China.


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