Research and Practice in Adult Literacy – a friendly group

Brett Whiting

Brett Whiting, TAFE East Coast

Worth the Read, 19/4/2012

All my life I have had an illiteracy problem and it was one of the hardest things to overcome in my life. It’s like walking down a path and you hit a brick wall that you can’t go around or you can’t go over. I have done everything that I want to do in my life besides learning to read and write.

For years I was a single parent bringing up two boys. It was hard when it got time to help them with their homework. I always wanted to go back to school or TAFE to help myself but my kids came first until they left the nest. So I had a little break for a few years. Then I had a talk to my job provider and she told me how to do something about it. I told myself, “what the heck, I will have a go at this.”

It was hard at first, getting my mind around the books. I put my head down and went for it. Reading and writing started to get easier for me and before I knew it I was reading a book. I never thought I would do that but I’m reading now and I’m enjoying this for the first time in my life. I’m finally reading and writing like there is no tomorrow. It has even opened up new doors for me to explore.

It has changed my life for the better and it has been the second best thing that has happened in life. The first has been my boys, and they have been encouraging me as well.

I can now write my teacher this essay and it comes so naturally. All I can say to my angels is thank you from the bottom of my heart, you have given me a new outlook on life and it’s great!

A Peak From Behind, 14/12/2015

Since I left the TAFE class, I went on to do more study. I did a Cert 2 in Auto and followed up with Cert 2 in Engineering, passing successfully in both. All this time during the courses I had a column in the local newspaper. I have been a member of a local sporting shooters’ club for quite a few years now, and I am involved in the weapons licensing side of things. I’m now in training to be a TA (trainer assessor) for QLD firearms licensing. I get a kick out of helping people do their test because we ask if anyone has difficulties reading or writing. We will always get a couple, so I sit with them to help. I tell them I can understand what they’re going through because I was once like that myself.

I understand why my angels do what they do because I enjoy helping people out who I was once like. I hope they can make it as far as I have with their reading and writing because my future is looking bright.

Tutor Perspective: Margaret Khan

This student embodies the essence of resilience in his learning. The stories have been written three and a half years apart. The first was when Brett finished in his TAFE LLN (language, literacy and numeracy) in 2012, and the second has been written this week to show where his learning journey has taken him since then. He continues to attend a community literacy group, seven years after taking the first tentative steps.


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