In the fall of 2010, the authors were given the task of co-teaching the practicum for new graduate teaching assistants at the University of Kansas. One of the authors was, at the time, a doctoral student in rhetoric and composition. The other author was a senior faculty member in the same field. While such pairings are not uncommon, they are rarely addressed in the vast literature on the writing practicum.

In this article—written as a dialogue focusing on the themes of locations and tensions—the authors conclude that such teaching arrangements as theirs offered valuable insights into student resistance, and encouraged them to be more attentive to the institutional contexts in which the practicum is taught. Based on their experiences, the authors concluded, as well, that there are good reasons to explicitly address what Paulo Freire calls “the teacher-student contradiction” with practicum students.