Going from adult student to teacher
Unable to do simple sums and lacking the skills to manage her finances properly, Miranda Cradock once dreaded classes at a Horowhenua adult learning centre.
Cradock, 35, said she fell through the cracks at school and missed out on learning basic mathematics and life skills. It put a strain on her relationship and finances in later life and she was barely scraping by.
‘‘It was tough right through school. School is fast.’’
In 2011, she began attending the Arohamai Literacy Horowhenua Centre in Levin to bring her skills up to scratch, and it’s changed her life.
She now tutors at the centre as well as continuing to learn.
‘‘Before, I couldn’t even walk through the door. I was shy. I didn’t want to open myself up to failure.’’
Now, she felt like part of a family, she said.
Arohamai tutor Daniel Bulman said students often felt like they didn’t have anything to offer when they first arrived.
‘‘They’ve often been trod on a lot. Life for some reason has really squashed their confidence.’’
Students at the centre varied in age. One 70-year-old woman was learning how to read and write and there were students that hadn’t worked for 20 years who were trying to upskill and get back into the workforce, Bulman said.
Yuri Toleafoa, 23, was another pupil Bulman said hadn’t realised her potential.
A hearing impairment meant she struggled to keep up at school and started learning at Arohamai in 2015 in the hopes of achieving an NCEA level one qualification.
Toleafoa wants to improve her literacy skills to become more confident in her search for a fulltime job. Bulman said people needed to learn computer, numeracy and literacy skills more than ever as less factory and labouring jobs were available.
‘‘If we don’t actually teach them how to get a job we are not maximising the potential of our people.’’
In 2017, the centre introduced a workplace literacy course.
Students learn how to write resumes and they are taught about health and safety.
A lot of the students worked in jobs such as cleaning, so health and safety was an important issue, Bulman said.
The centre celebrated adult learning in the first week of September with a range of events.
Miranda Cradock went to the Arohamai Literacy Horowhenua centre to learn mathmatics and now works as a tutor there. Daniel Bulman, right, is her mentor.