Internationally, there is a growing recognition of teacher educators acting as both agents of and subjects to centrally devised policy reforms. In an Irish context, in which a rhetoric of policy veils teacher accountability behind standards/codes of professionalism, this study sets out to explore how professionalism is communicated to pre-service teachers during their School Placement practicum by teacher educators. This was achieved by examining a sample of teacher educators' written reports of observed lessons (N = 429) and interviews with a sample (N = 10) of teacher educators from one Irish university. This study found that messages regarding the looking the part of a professional and fitting-in were communicated by teacher educators. While these messages appeared to be communicated from a position of care to ease students' transition into the professional space, these messages also contained suggested sentiments of power and conformity. This study draws conclusion based on the professional agency of teacher educators and how their enactment of standards in programme design may communicate more than initially intended.