I'm in a very good place at the moment. We're about 5/6 of the way through my second year at my current school and I don't think I've felt this good in the last 5 years.
I feel I should pay reference to this post I wrote in August 2011 about what I wanted from this year.
Classroom Management is still something I need to work on, but I think much of what I struggle with is out of my control. My 7 set 1 are excellent, as are 8 set 1. 7 set 3 and year 9 are reasonable, but year 10 and 11 aren't great. They're not fighting, bothering anyone, but they're not doing much - I guess this comes down to individuals.
My Classes have been changed massively. Year 11 set 5 were decimated after getting half a dozen up to Cs and those on Ds entered for linear. Currently I have a group of E students who are preparing for their linear exam to give them a shot at an unlikely C. Year 10 set 5 saw massive changes after half a dozen got Cs and the bottom end fell out. I was also given 8 set 1 instead of 8 set 3 at Easter due to maternity leave.
Extra Curricular goings on are fine - I got a new kit and I'm working on introducing Junior Maths Leaders over the next academic year alongside Literacy Leaders with the head of English.
My main reason for my good feeling comes from the last week. Myself and a deputy head (who came from my previous school at the same time) put our heads together and invited the linear classes in for a focus on C-grades to push them over the line. Of the 30 kids invited, all of whom are currently holding on to Ds and Es, we saw about 20. These are set 5 and 6 kids at an inner city school and because two teachers who they had never met two years ago told them to come back, they did. Sure, the lure of pizza may have had an effect, but the possibilities seem endless with our kids and the only thing holding them back from really, really being outstanding students is inconsistent expectations across a staff room and the respect they should be given.
After my first second year at a school with a constant cohort of kids, I really see the benefit of knowing your pupils well and them knowing you. Go out, speak to them, offer kind words and a few friendly insults, but most of all let them know that you're only job at that place if to help them to progress to their potential and that your role as a guardian between 9 and 3 and your role as a babysitter come second to that.
I held a short conversation on the way out with the aforementioned deputy head and as I stepped in to my car came to the conclusion: I don't care if OfSTED or SMT don't see me as an outstanding teacher as long as the kids at my school do, since that's the reality of it.