Students enrolled in courses at one large public university are usually surprised when they are told that the stated mission of the school of education is to reform the local educational situation. Frequently, new teachers look at the educational system as monolithic and unchangeable, and see themselves as relatively powerless practitioners, people who have much to learn to achieve even basic competence in teaching. This reaction is an understandable response to the myriad competencies teacher education students recognize they need to acquire to make a successful transition into teaching.