For one of my classes, we have to do a metaphor, "teaching is like..........." This is my paper...........enjoy

Teaching is like a young highland dancer learning the sword dance. Her learning of the dance starts long before she ever so much as tries a step. The day she really began the dance was the first time she saw a mature, distinguished dancer perform the dance. The young dancer was in awe, as the elder dancer dances effortlessly with confidence over the unsharpened sword. Her arms, legs, torso and even her fingertips all move together to create a work of art. The young dancer is eager and excited for her own chance to learn the dance. She is also nervous and anxious – as the movements look complex and one simple mistake could create a loud clash that sends the swords sliding across the floor for all to see.

The young dancer finally gets her own chance to learn the sword dance. Her movements are awkward and slow at first. She often forgets the basic things she knows. The combination of toe, foot, leg, arms, head and finger movements seem impossible to put into combination.

She fumbles and trips over the sword, each time stopping to put it back in place and start over again. Other dancers seem to be grasping the steps so much easier, so much quicker. Although she is discouraged, she continues to practice. She tries practicing in different ways: dancing it in parts, dancing it as a whole, with music, and without music. As she practices she hears her instructor’s voice in her head, reminding her to jump higher, bend her knees and to listen carefully to the music.

Her movements slowly start to become automatic. She no longer needs to think about every single body part’s movement. She kicks the sword less and can complete the whole dance from opening bow to ending bow. Although she is improving, her technique is not perfect, and sometimes she finds herself rushing to keep up to the music.

She begins to perform the dance in competitions and in front of audiences. With the lights on, the bagpipes playing and the swishing of her beautiful kilt, her confidence in the dance grows. She can do the dance with a smile on her face; an aura of newfound confidence surrounds her. She continues to practice, not letting her success stunt her need to continually improve. She practices in front of a mirror, as she can now recognize her own mistakes and correct the minor flaws.

As she grows into a more mature dancer, she sees the younger dancers staring at her as she does the sword dance. This is the same look she had given the older dancers when she was younger. She realizes that to them her sword dance looks flawless, effortless and confident. They do not realize that in her head, as graceful as she looks, she is still trying to remember to jump higher, bend her knees, and not to let the music get ahead of her.