The Australian federal government’s intention to improve teacher education through a standards-based re-animation of 2014 Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group (TEMAG) reforms overlooks the recent professionalism and innovations of educators responding to the covid pandemic shifts. TEMAG reforms and Education Minister Tudge are blinded by TEMAG-normal, promoting a limiting structure of teacher education that is vulnerable to system disruptions. We recognise the covid shifts and ask: What is a ‘classroom-ready teacher’ after the events of 2020? and How does teacher education maintain continuity as well as mobilise to respond to change?Through the eyes of ‘Gloria’, a teacher educator construct developed from our case study of a school-university partnership in a north-western Melbourne school, we explore the uneven space-times and complex socioecological meshwork that create this liquid learning environment. Using touchstones of TEMAG expectations, pre-covid and post-covid realities, different stakeholder imperatives and horizons, and a focus on relationally responsive teaching, we re-read the past to re-write the future of initial teacher education. We follow Gloria’s professional work of making, negotiating and navigating both the partnership and the covid pandemic changes – work that goes beyond matters of policy-regulatory fact to matters of shared concern that indicate broader avenues for supporting preservice teachers as they enter the teaching profession in a post-pandemic world.