Emerging from the shadows

Debbie dropped out of school, believing she was useless. Following her WEA courses in Falkirk, she is now a published author and a committed learner. Education has helped her to walk tall again.

I was never much good at spelling when I was young. My mum was dyslexic, so I didn’t think too much about it. It was only as I got older at school that it became more of a problem. I couldn’t hide it. I felt ashamed. Inadequate. I always wanted to do well in school and in exams. But I felt so bad that I just avoided school and ended up dropping out.

Then my mum and I started coming to the WEA literacy and employability classes. Ross, our tutor, made it so easy. He has this amazing way of making you learn without you knowing you’re doing it. It was nothing like school – thank goodness!

Ross persuaded us to publish some of our writing. We all felt a massive wobble when we realised we were going to let strangers read this. They were our stories and they were personal! But when Ross arrived with the box of booklets - our 
work - and we held it in our hands. We just all cried. We couldn’t believe we’d done this.

The WEA is not a crutch. It’s a launchpad. There are definitely opportunities for adults to learn - if you’re not afraid to take them. I‘ve lost the shame. I don’t have to hide in the shadows for the rest of my life. It was my tutor Ross and the WEA that made that possible

Debbie

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