Many teacher candidates get their first taste of life as a full-time teacher in their practicums, during which they confront a host of challenges, pedagogical and ethical. Because ethics is fundamental to the connection between teachers and students, teacher candidates are often required to negotiate dilemmas in ways that keep with the ethical ideals espoused both by the professional body and the community at large. Presenting the case of a teacher candidate who finds herself emotionally depleted in her devotion to students, we look to the ethics of care and virtue for clarifying insights. Care ethics extols intersubjectivity and reciprocity, while virtue ethics enjoins commitment to a noble ideal for its own sake; both perspectives offer useful insights for our case. We argue that the perspectives and practices of contemplative traditions can facilitate the integration of care and virtue ethics, mitigating the risk of disruption in caring relations while minimizing the possibility of a personal preoccupation with virtue. Drawing on the Bodhisattva ideal in Mahayana Buddhism, we posit a ‘practice of self-with-other’ as a way to enlarge a teacher’s relational capacity, thus apprehending reciprocity and virtue as an interpenetrating mutuality. We conclude by considering how these perspectives might guide a new teacher caught in the wrenching demands of the classroom.