Q&A: Getting to Know Mr. Avraham Kavian

Caroline Schwartz ’22

This year, Mr. Avraham Kavian has joined the Ramaz Upper School science department. Mr. Kavian teaches freshman biology and enjoys the buzz of working in New York City. 


Caroline Schwartz: Where are you from?

Mr. Kavian: I am originally from Los Angeles, California.


CS: Where did you study? What was your focus?

AK: I went to Yeshiva University, where I studied biology and psychology. I chose to study biology because I’m very interested in science and I might want to end up in medical school someday. I chose psychology because it is a good compliment to biology and understanding people. 


CS: How did you get into teaching? 

AK: In middle school, I started tutoring and continued with it up until college. In college, I started off as a teacher’s assistant at local public schools and did many volunteer science lessons at elementary schools. After college, I thought it was a good idea to continue teaching. 


CS: What field of science interests you the most? 

AK: My favorite section of science is the human body, specifically the heart. I think the heart is so amazing, yet it is so simple and the most straightforward. It is the most amazing part of our bodies because somehow it functions on its own. It’s like the life force that in some way got started and continues to run forever. The heart is also the most simple part of the human body because it is like plumbing; it consists of many different tubes that are easy to understand. 


CS: Have you always had your heart set on science?

AK: No, actually, I used to teach English. I joined the writing center in college, which is a place where you help people write papers of all sorts, think about how to write, and edit drafts. I was involved with the writing center for 2.5 years. After graduating from college, I was in need of a job, and one school had an opening in their English department, so I decided to take the job. Even though I wanted to teach science, I had the skill set for English because of my time in the writing center and it made more sense timewise. Now, I am happy to be teaching science. 


CS: Why did you choose to come to New York City and teach at Ramaz? 

AK: I chose to come to New York City because it is much bigger than where I am from in LA. There are more people, an endless number of opportunities, and a lot of excitement. I specifically came to Ramaz because I think it is a very good school with a warm and welcoming environment. Also, both the administration and the students care about succeeding, which is very important. 


CS: If money and skills weren’t a concern, what job would you choose?

AK: I would choose to be a National Geographic Photographer. I am interested in nature, traveling, and taking pictures of flowers, so working as a National Geographic Photographer would be the best fit for me. 


CS: What are your hobbies? 

AK: I enjoy bike riding, swimming, and cooking


CS: Do you have any secret talents?

AK: I don’t really have any secret talents, but I do speak three different languages. I speak Farsi, Hebrew, and English. Also, when I was in high school, I used to act and appeared in many of the school plays. 


CS: Have you ever had any science fails in the classroom, or have any experiments gone wrong?

AK: Yes. I was teaching a science class for little kids over the summer, and one day, we did a chemical analysis of foods. This involved putting chemicals into a tube and looking for color changes depending on the food. One of the kid’s test tubes exploded and a different kid’s remained the same color.