This study investigates the short-term evolutions in student teachers’ perception of their professional identity and the effect of teacher education ‘milestones’ on this perception. The study was carried out in the context of a three-year teaching programme in Belgium for lower secondary education teachers. Questionnaires were filled out by first-year, second-year and third-year students from two colleges. The questionnaire included four scales: commitment to teaching, professional orientation, task orientation and self-efficacy. In the first five months of the first-year course, a shift in students’ task orientation was observed: students developed a more pupil-oriented approach in teaching. Another shift occurred after workplace experience.