The first teaching experiences of student teachers have changed significantly in Australia even during the last fifty years. One constant has been their involvement with a supervisor, usually a practising teacher of experience. The importance attributed to this supervisory relationship has waxed and waned over the years, but it is presently receiving prominence as being the real place of learning for the novice teacher. This paper argues that the apprenticeship model, with its emphasis on performance and product, is most prominent in present supervisory conferences, despite being inappropriate for inducting student teachers into teaching as a profession. The paper suggests that the development of professional teachers calls for supervisory relationships which include discourses of critical reflection, rather than relationships that are dominated by the techniques of teaching. Further, such relationships are seen as professionally empowering for both student teachers and their supervisors.