The extra mile is easy to see. They are hard to miss because when you don't go the extra mile, the distance is obvious. Going the extra mile is, for serving others, the status quo. If your job involves helping others, you are expected to go the extra mile.
The extra inch is easier to overlook. As a matter of fact, at certain angles, you can't even see a gap that small.
Here's the problem for educators.
Often, students needing the extra mile are obvious. The ones needing the extra inch? Not so much. Sometimes, the "extra inchers" are the students who are performing satisfactorily, but should achieve the next level of success.
Unfortunately, because their challenges are less obvious (they don't need the extra mile, at least not any more), the "extra inchers" are sometimes misunderstood. Their passive, content, and I'll say it (but not like it) because we have all heard it - lazy, approach to school is often misunderstood. You have probably gone the extra mile for the "extra inchers" already, but because they have not quite reached your level of expectation, they have sensed your frustration and have decided that where they are now is acceptable to them.
I'm not sure what is more tragic. The student who needs the extra mile and is having trouble getting help or the student who needs the extra inch and is misunderstood.
Look for the "extra inchers" in your class. Reach our to them. They may need you to initiate the final piece of the achievement puzzle. Make it obvious (again maybe) that you have a personal investment in their achievement and satisfaction.