My name is Mat Williamson and I am a teacher in Melbourne, Australia. In my first year of teacher, I was observing an expert teacher taking a writing session with my class. I had some reluctant writers, so I was eagerly taking notes about the strategies the teacher was using. One boy, completely disengaged, had no interest in writing at all. So the teacher went and spoke to him, asking why he wasn’t writing. The boy coolly looked up at her and said ‘Well… you’re not.’ Intrigued by what the teacher would do next, I focussed in on the exchange. The teacher sat down next to the boy and began writing. And then, so did the boy.
This exchange has stayed with me, so clear in my mind – I could recreate that classroom layout table for table. From that day I have been using writing as a tool to engage my students. And, some would say, I’m pretty okay at it!