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How do I become an outstanding teacher?

Ask an Expert Dominic Wyse Sue Rogers How to become an outstanding teacher

A Guide to Early Years and Primary Teaching is an essential support for trainee teachers, with contributions from exceptional teachers and leading researchers in partnership. We asked the editors of this core text, Dominic Wyse and Sue Rogers, two experts on teacher training, what underpins oustanding teaching...

1. A strong sense of professionalism

Outstanding teachers are passionate about helping children learn, and passionate about education. This passion leads to a wellfounded, intelligent understanding of learning, teaching, schools and educational policy. An outstanding teacher has just as much knowledge as a doctor, or lawyer, or any other professional. Through reflective practice over years of teaching, this professionalism can become a powerful force for good in society.

2. Using evidence to inform teaching

The most immediate evidence to inform practice comes from direct interaction with children. Outstanding teachers are perceptive and rigorous about their assessments of learning and they base their approaches to teaching on evidence from high quality research. For example, they know from research that assessment for learning is one of the most effective ways to assess children.

3. Understanding children’s development

Children’s learning begins from birth (and even prior to birth). The early years of children’s lives are a prime time for learning that will fundamentally influence their future lives. Outstanding teachers understand patterns of children’s development as part of a continuum that begins in the early years and flows naturally into the primary years. They understand the different needs that children have, and their teaching effectively addresses these.

About the authors

Dominic Wyse is Professor of Early Years and Primary Education at the Institute of Education, University of London. 

Sue Rogers is Professor of Early Years Education at the UCL Institute of Education.  


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