The awards are a celebration of outstanding English and Maths delivery, and reward the quality and diversity of educational delivery and achievement. Mahdi was recognised for his innovative, creative and effective teaching strategies and his support for learners.
Mahdi said: “This is excellent news and I’m speechless. I am very honoured and proud that all of my hard work and dedication has paid off. Teaching is my passion and I love what I do. Through this passion my students can see how beautiful Maths is.”
Mahdi joined CONEL in 2010 teaching Functional Skills and managed to get an impressive 100% achievement rate. He went on to lead GCSE Maths and recent results for adult learners were the best national achievement rates for those with no previous qualifications. His students have started at Functional skills Entry Level and progressed to Level 1, then GCSE and even Level 3 Core Maths.
Iranian-born Mahdi discovered his talent for teaching after being asked to privately tutor his friend’s daughters. “I found it so rewarding to see what a difference I could make in a single session,” he said. “I then found a part-time job teaching maths in a secondary school during the final year of my Engineering degree. This changed the course of my career forever. I found teaching fun and rewarding. Teaching is a platform to change people’s lives for the better.”
A student of Mahdi’s was ready to quit education after failing his A Levels. With Mahdi’s support and guidance, he continued studying and went on to achieve a Master’s in Civil Education. He is now a Minister of Transport in the Middle East. “This is just one example of why I take such pride in being a teacher,” said Mahdi.
Mahdi is also currently delivering Core Maths at CONEL and has worked above and beyond to support learners to get into the financial sector in the City. He recently worked with a 16 year old GCSE student who had only been in the country for 4 years. Mahdi committed many hours, including the weekends, to working through exam questions with him and the student went on to achieve an astonishing Grade 9.
Director of Curriculum, Sheila Rai, said: “Mahdi is a teacher that every learner dreams of. He loves his time in the classroom, where. he is at his best – teaching, discussing, coaching and solving everything from long multiplication to simultaneous equations. He makes the hardest of questions look simple and has turned many nervous Maths students into confident learners.
“It’s absolutely exhilarating to have one of our team win the Skills Award. Mahdi deserves it more than anyone as he lives and breathes Maths. His recent initiative is to open a breakfast club offering orange juice and a croissant while chewing over those algebra formulas that always pop up in exams. He has developed a subject which is a golden nest for learners to huddle into.”