Remya Parameswar Iyer, a recipient of this year’s National Teacher Awards, claims she isn’t a ‘natural-born teacher.’
It’s a profession she chanced upon 2004 when her husband found work as a professor at IIT-Guwahati and the couple moved to India from the United States. Remya has an MS in Biochemical Research and was pursuing research in neurochemistry. However, the research was unable to take off in Guwahati, so she decided to approach a school nearby called the Faculty Higher Secondary School for a teaching job.
There, she met Pradip Kumar Bhuyan, the school’s founding director, who gave her a job teaching biotechnology to high school students. She taught there from June 2006 to November 2008 before responding to an ad listed in the newspaper by the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) seeking a biotechnology teacher. She was accepted after a written test and an interview and joined KV Khanapara in November 2008.
The transition from a private school which afforded her a lot of freedom to a central government school wasn’t easy. Making things harder was the daily commute of 70 km, alongside raising two very young children. Also, the school had no biotechnology labs.
Besides, she nurtured her students into becoming mentors and leaders who would, later on, conduct lessons or training sessions in their own school, partner schools and rural schools as well.