This study focuses on similarities and differences in expectations of cooperating teachers and student teachers in the initial stage of the mentor relationship in the context of an Israeli practicum program for pre-service student teachers. These expectations, particularly when they conflict, can serve as major obstacles to the formation of contexts for learning. A focus group technique was used to bring the expectations of the participants concerning the role of the cooperating teacher to awareness and articulation. The theoretical framework of Calderhead and Shorrock (1987) was used to analyze the participants' expectations into categories of educational orientations. Expectations of a practical and technical nature were found to be prevalent among members of both groups, whereas the student teacher group held more expectations for a personal relationship than the cooperating teacher group. Suggestions are given for bridging the gap in expectations between cooperating teachers and student teachers in the initial stage of the practicum program.