Bessie went to the Aberdeen Church of Scotland Teacher Training College in 1882. This was a two year course, followed by a year’s probation. She qualified as a teacher in 1885. In 1886 she published her first volume of poetry Poems and Translations. At this point, although she was working as a teacher, she had ambitions to study medicine and become a doctor. These ambitions remained unfulfilled.
In late 1886 she was appointed to teach at Dr Williams School. Although this was a long way from her family home in Aberdeen, she had a married sister, Agnes, in Chester, and was no doubt able to break her journey with a visit to her.
She taught at Dr Williams School for only a few months, before being appointed to lecture in Modern Languages at Bishop Otter College in Chichester in April 1887.
For more information on her education, click on the 'related story' file on the right hand side of the page. A picture of her is also in the gallery (see 'related items' at the side of the page).