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Creating the classroom environment - Jo's story

Filed under: Ako | Effective teachers

Tags: Te Mana Kōrero




At Whāngārei Intermediate, teacher Joe Beaumont works to create a classroom environment that is both supportive and challenging. The focus is on ensuring that every student sees what they are capable of achieving.


The sharing of the daily cameo writing exercise is an opportunity for the students to develop the skills to critique their own and others’ work.

Jo Beaumont – Teacher Whāngārei Intermediate

But we don't just start with the whole group when it comes to sharing what we've written or what we have done, because that could be quite threatening. So we start with small groups. And I have what is called re-crafting circles – some people call them conferencing circles. Then they can come back as a group. And they feel really good about what they have done because someone else in the group has already told them it’s great. So they know, yes, it’s good enough to share. So as a class, in front of the whole class, they can start to share. And they know that no one is going to put them down and no one ever does.


The support of their peers encourages students to take risks with their learning. Getting it wrong sometimes is part of the process. Jo builds student confidence by outlining a pathway of small achievable steps.

Jo Beaumont

Well I think the most important thing is not saying, “No, that’s wrong”. And praising them for what they have done. You know, we’re not all perfect, and we’re not going to get it right all the time. I mean, even as adults we don't always get it right. So if they just keep working at things, and just taking it step by step by step, then they can achieve something.

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