In this paper, science lecturers’ perspectives on how they authentically prepare to teach are explored, to establish how academic development practices can better support them. Science lecturers in higher education do not always feel comfortable engaging with pedagogical training initiatives, often finding the ideas presented confusing, non-transferable and of little benefit to them. Models of pedagogical training suit institutional requirements and the generic principles of teaching in higher education. However, it is more useful to establish science lecturers’ authentic preparation techniques and build academic practice models around these. At a research-intensive higher education institution (HEI) in the UK, a total of 64 science lecturers completed a 28-item survey about the authentic values, beliefs, and the practices that inform and support their preparation as teachers. The collated survey responses were analysed through a statistical package for social sciences (SPSS), and a linear regression model was produced for self-reported confidence (used as a proxy for preparedness). Initial results pointed to the importance of enjoyment, being innovative and experimental, and demonstrating a good grasp of content for developing confidence. Receiving advice from education-based experts was a negative contributor to the confidence model as was pedagogical training unless it was part of a wider offering. However informal, supportive, peer-to-peer dialogue is deemed beneficial, highlighting the significant role communities of practice play in authentic preparation.