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Source: NorthTec

Degree student Georgia Miller never realised she was dyslexic until she came to study at NorthTec.

Georgia, now 24, who grew up in Kerikeri, completed a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation  at NorthTec in 2017. She then went on to study teacher training at Waikato University, and is now in her second year as a PE teacher.

She loves her job, loves teaching at Whangarei Girls’ High School, and has a particular passion for hockey.

However, Georgia credits her success to the support she received at NorthTec, especially the expert assistance provided by Academic Advisor, Iris Hutchinson.

When she reached her second year of studies at tertiary level, Georgia began to struggle academically. She said: “I was actually about to give up. I understood everything but with my writing, it didn’t come out how I wanted it. Iris asked if I was dyslexic – I replied that no, I can’t be if I’m going to be a teacher.”

As a result of their conversation, Georgia decided to take a test for dyslexia, which identified that she did have the learning disorder, which is characterised by difficulties in reading and writing.

She said: “Iris totally is the reason why I passed and kept going. I looked at it as a disability, but she said it was just another way of thinking. At first it was a shock and then it was relief, due to the help and support which is what got me through.

“I would go to Iris and she would help me with different techniques and different ways of writing my work. She was just amazing. I was able to take the techniques on afterwards and it was them that got me though my teacher training.”

Now, as a fully-fledged teacher, Georgia says her attitude towards her dyslexia has changed. She tells her students she is dyslexic, and that she may make mistakes. This in turn enables them to open up to her and not feel afraid of making mistakes or taking risks with their learning.

She said: “So it has turned out to be a good thing in my life. Iris was absolutely amazing, and NorthTec is amazing for people that need that close relationship with their tutors. If you’re scared of jumping out of high school, or if you struggle with writing, NorthTec is the best.”

Huria Bruce-Iri, NorthTec’s Manager Student Services, said: “Any student who is struggling for any reason can contact our team of Navigators for help. They will direct them to our Advisors, who can help with academic matters and disability issues, as well as financial issues. Providing support and assistance to our students who require it is a key feature of life at NorthTec.”

[1] This is an AUT degree, taught and delivered in Northland by NorthTec.