One of my challenges as a teacher was having high expectations for each and every student. I started the year off with them, but it was a struggle to keep it up. For example, when Jared continually missed his homework, and couldn't answer questions correctly, I began to ask him easier questions. My expectations slipped--I thought he couldn't answer the "harder" questions, and rather than scaffold him through to the answer, I just gave him something easier to do. I realized I thought I was helping him succeed, but in reality I wasn't holding him to high expectations. Now, I wonder how often I underestimated my students.
I ran across this blog post, and found it to be a thoughtful examination of the issue of high expectations. Clearly, the issue is personal to the teacher, and he honestly reflects on the challenge of his expectations for his students. It is worth a three minute read.