Ramiz Bajwa is an experienced high school biology teacher who was born and raised in San Francisco, California. After graduating Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in microbiology, Ramiz accepted a position as a teaching assistant. It was during this time that Ramiz recognized his passion for teaching and went on to complete a master’s program at Berkeley. Currently a high school biology teacher, his most recent projects include educational videos meant to further engage students in the learning process.
Ramiz is also an avid runner and is training to run the Big Sur International Marathon. In his spare time, he also enjoys gardening, traveling, and taking part in culinary experiences in the San Francisco area.
How have you achieved success?
It wasn’t until I completed my bachelor’s degree and accepted a position as a teaching assistant, that I really discovered my passion for instructing. I enjoyed interacting with students and decided that it was my calling. My initial interests lied primarily in microbiology, but I was never completely certain of my career direction. I love my job now and I am thankful that I get to do what I love every single day. Success to me is having room to grow and improve and I am always looking to better myself through experiences.
What obstacles have you overcome in the process?
As previously stated, a lot of my obstacles really came down to my lack of professional direction. I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do with my degree so it took me a while to figure that out. However, I also realize now that it is okay to not have a clear vision of your future. In my opinion, it’s better to take the time to understand your passions and interests than to jump into a career that is not rewarding. I think every obstacle I have faced has helped me explore my options.
What drives you to succeed?
Teaching is easily one of the most rewarding jobs on earth. I get to interact with students and help guide them through the learning process. I take a lot of pride in what I do, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. Science, especially in high school, is one of the more difficult subjects, so it can be a lot to make sure the curriculum really sinks in. I am currently creating helpful educational videos that my students can watch as a way to make the information digestible. I am also open to constructive criticism, and I value the thoughts and opinions of my students.
How has your definition of success changed over the years?
When I was first pursuing my post-secondary education, I was very much caught up in selecting a lucrative career. I wanted a career that would support my family and I. However, instead of focusing on what I could see myself doing long-term, I was instead selecting courses that I thought I needed to be successful. Little did I know that my TA position would completely alter my way of thinking.
What has success meant to you?
Success to me now is helping today’s youth navigate the education system, and exploring ways to engage individuals in meaningful content. I like to spark conversations that challenge my students to think critically and explore their full potential. I am a teacher but I am always learning, and I try to be better everyday.
Do you have advice for others on how to be successful?
I would tell people of all ages that it is okay to not have a plan. It’s okay to take your time with your career choice, and it’s also okay to change your mind down the road. Not everything works out the way we intended and knowing this early on will save you from disappointment in the future.