Never too late to learn
Margaret’s teacher taunted her as a child because she couldn’t read. Her confidence evaporated. 40 years later, encouraged by her WEA tutor, she is now a published poet.
I was dyslexic growing up. When I was at school, I did my best to hide it, but you can’t, can you? I was good at maths and was moved up a class. But when my teacher found out that I couldn’t read, she called me a stupid girl, and that was that. When your teacher calls you that, you just lose all confidence in your ability to learn.
It was my daughter Debbie who first suggested coming to the WEA in Falkirk for a literacy class. I wasn’t sure. I’d hated teachers. I’d hated school. But we could go to the class between shifts and Ross, our tutor, was amazing. I left that first class feeling: I can do this. He made us feel so positive about ourselves.
After the first class, we’d really got the bug, so we both pushed Ross to do some more with us. He got us writing these were stories and poems. And, you know what? They were good! And that’s when he suggested publishing a book of our work.
I went up the road when the book was first published, and I felt like the Queen of England. I just thought nobody can beat me now!
You’re never too old to learn. Never. If I could speak to my 13-year-old self, I’d tell her to ask for help. If you can openly admit you have a problem, your life will change – definitely. I wish I’d heard of the WEA years ago. My life would have been so different.
I went up the road when the book was first published, and I felt like the Queen of England.