This study focuses on the way novice teachers, who are part of a one-year postgraduate diploma in post-primary teaching, have opted to negotiate their status as school teachers. In particular, it asks why novice teachers prefer to hide as they scramble to learn how to teach. Findings suggest that without quality mentoring support, our pre-service teachers prefer to become ‘invisible’ as learners. The authors identified three pre-professional stances: fragile, robust and competitive. The key finding is that none of these pre-professional stances mitigate pre-service students’ lack of negotiating power.