This paper explores the expectations of a group of site-based teacher educators as each attempted to support a pre-service teacher who struggled to achieve satisfactory outcomes on their professional placement. Discourse analysis of teachers' narratives provided my personal, partial and dynamic (Mauthner & Doucet, 2003) interpretation of what occurred in these typically emotionally painful events. Literature related to emotion, power, 'non-traditional' students and Hargreaves' (2001) 'emotional geographies' aided my attempts to make sense of teachers' stories when viewed through a post-structuralist lens. The paper is concerned with the bases for strong emotional experiences and raises questions in relation to how we can support teachers make sense of discourses that shape their lives and their emotions, particularly with respect to site-based teacher educators' expectations of their pre-service teacher. This paper also raises questions for university staff and site-based teacher educators in addressing issues raised by this interpretation and I provide suggestions to consider for both when working together to develop quality site-based programs for all the participants.