Congratulations to Jamie Fairbairn who have been nominated in Scots Teacher o the Year sponsored by Scottish Qualifications Authority in the Scots Language Awards 2020. Vote now!
We asked Jamie Fairbairn the following questions.
Tell us aboot yersel or yer ootfit.
Aye, aye, A’m Jamie Fairbairn, a teacher at Banff Academy an heid o Humanities fer ma past mishanters! A’m intae cultures an leids, Geography, music, traivel, Sooth Americae, Scotland, nature and A hae been accused o bein obsessed wi the Scots leid. Fer me, deein Scots at schuil is aa aboot makin a space fer bairns tae flex their creative talents, gin they’re hame spikkers or learnin fae scratch. If A can be the adult fa gies respeck tae their language, recognises them as bilingual an encourages them tae use, create an develop their skills an validate foo they spik an fa they are – A’m happy.
Whit wis it got ye involvit wi the Scots leid?
Probably Willy Soutar the Perth poet. I telt this Aiberdonian quine I met A wis fae a placie she’d nivver ken – Forgandenny, an she recitit Soutar’s ‘A penny tae spend’ aboot Grannie Panton’s sweetie shop in Forgandenny (the winnock’s gowpin fu o ferlies sae lickery fer the lips). A wis fair tikken, an we noo hae 3 bairns an a dug! At schuil it sterted wi the widder in Geography lessons aboot echt year syne. The bairns cam up wi a wheen o widder words like dingin it doon, droukit, snyav, dubs, an ilka year we did mair. We sterted uisin the wirds tae dee peerie-plays an poetry, an the mannie Fitt sterted publishin some o their wirk on Scots Hoose. Fan the SQA Award came in we nivver luikit back!
Ony particlar career heighlichts?
Gettin a chunce tae co-scrieve a book chapter aboot Scots in the clessroom wis a definite highlicht ess year. Wi ony luck it’ll heeze up ither teachers tae push fer the mither tongue in schuil an benefit mair bairns (https://www.igi-global.com/chapter/how-do-you-feel-about-the-language-that-you-use/262275). The research masel an Claire Needler deen at the schuil can be foon at yon link an aa. (https://www.bera.ac.uk/publication/local-language-school-and-community-curricular-innovation-towards-closing-the-attainment-gap). Scrievin a unit o the new Open University GTCS registered Scots course fer teachers is anither highlicht – it wis pure pleesure. Hooanivver, the maist muckle highlicht is aye seein the bairns tak it tee them, an ilka year there is aye a puckle fowk ye jist ken it maks aa the difference tee an a chunce tae shine. This year it’s a ferm loon fa canna see affa weel, but jist loves tae scrieve in Doric. Lest year it was a puckle o quines fa werena deein weel in ither pairts o the schuil. The year afore a silent loon fa scrievit brilliant Doric stories, an fan they were published in a paper he gied us a richt beamin smile. A quine fa wis troubled an got intae trouble fa wis the first tae scrieve the history o Scots essay in Scots, published in a paper. Ye canna beat it!
Wha’s yer plans fir the days aheid?
Plans fer the days aheid are tae engage as mony bairns as A can wi their ain tongue, tae validate thon bairns and their faimlies’ leid an culture. Tae haud gaan wi the Scots Language Award, ettle tae heeze up an attract fowk tae Scots in S3 Scottish Studies. Tae wirk towards resources an chunces fer Scots Medium Education, teachin ither subjects in the medium o Scots.
The Scots Language Awards 2020 will be online at www.scotslanguageawards.com. We will have a mixture of events on the 23rd / 24th October. Performing at the Award on Saturday 24th September will be Gerda Stevenson, Gary Robertson, Shona Donaldson and Jim Malcolm.
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