Modernization of Russian education puts forward new goals, the solution of which can be provided by the introduction of innovative and flexible education curricula aimed at strengthening the educational process at Universities. The article throws some light on the current approaches to educating classroom teachers in Russia. Building up a model of an exemplary classroom teacher, the researchers put forward and make an attempt to answer the following questions:
● What makes the teacher “Teacher”?
● How does the exemplary teacher differ from anyone else?
● How to become an exemplary teacher?
● Who decides that the teacher is exemplary?
A cyclical paradigm of teacher education which combines three components of teacher training curriculum: teaching theory at University, research activities and compulsory teaching practice in schools, is aimed at solving two research questions: What key competences, attitudes, dispositions and knowledge are required of an exemplary teacher? How to form and develop key professional skills of pre-service teachers so that to have them become professionally strong classroom teachers? The authors assert that teacher education balanced by classical university education can shape an exemplary classroom teacher.