In this study, we investigated 12 preservice music education seniors’ expectations and conceptions of their mentoring relationships with their cooperating teachers prior to their student teaching experiences. Data included responses from a survey and 3 focus group sessions. Using “educative mentoring” as a framework, we found that participants desired nurturing relationships where cooperating teachers served as critical friends and coaches. The seniors saw their relationships as providing normative practice; however, perhaps contradictorily, they also wanted cooperating teachers to provide emotional support and share personal stories. Additionally, they did not prioritize the connection of theory and practice during these relationships. This contrasts with previous research involving cooperating teachers, who saw their relationships as helping student teachers generate a personal style of teaching, creating an inquiring stance toward learning to teach, purposefully mitigating student teachers’ emotional responses to teaching, and explicitly connecting theory to practice. These differences in conceptions between student teachers and cooperating teachers might create areas of disagreements and misunderstandings. Based on these findings, teacher educators and university supervisors might give cooperating teachers direct philosophical guidance centered around educative mentoring, reconceptualize the role of supervisor toward coinquirer, and conceive of student teaching experiences beyond 1-on-1 mentorships.

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