I came to Literacy Waitākere to improve my job options and confidence. When assessed by Literacy Waitākere, using the TEC standards, I was under par for a functioning adult in our complex society. Every job I chose would be based on the belief I couldn’t do any better. When I was working in the cinema in London they wanted me to move up to sales. I didn’t because there were numeracy and literacy issues.
When I first arrived, I felt relieved that finally I had the opportunity to improve this area of my life. There were also feelings of being overwhelmed by the huge task ahead. These feelings were expected but hard to deal with. I had the support of my doctor, through a counsellor, to deal with those difficult feelings. I realised that fear of education, of not being good enough, held me back. For example, when faced with government department forms, like tax and WINZ forms, I would stress more and misinterpret what I was reading.
Literacy Waitākere has helped me with navigating and understanding those challenges. I started Pathways Awarua (a free online literacy and numeracy tuition tool) and the tutors identified the areas lacking. The TEC assessment proved very useful in this process. Now I can read forms better and understand how I learn.
I would tell others who find literacy challenging to get help and improve so you can deal with a literate society. It’s really difficult because you’ve got to break through the negative feelings like anger, resentment and negative beliefs. You eventually break through this attitude of feeling dumb, and prove to yourself that’s not true. What happens is people could end up not living the life they really want or dream to have. However, when the options become more expansive, life has more hope.