The metaphors used by teachers to explain the nature of student learning and student difficulty can reveal a great deal about how teachers conceive the teaching and learning process. This is an important area of research as it can shed light on how they see their role in the learning process and how they should intervene to assist students in difficulty. Drawing on conceptual metaphorical theory, this paper explores how high school teachers described student learning by examining the metaphors they drew on to talk about student learning. The research found that the teachers drew primarily on metaphors associated with a journey when describing student learning. The paper argues that the employment of such metaphors can limit teachers¿ responses to situations where students experience challenge and difficulty. It is further argued that teachers need to reflect on the use of such metaphors (and the accompanying essentialist language) and consider the affordances offered by employing alternative metaphors to describe student learning.