Teaching in high school is like living among aliens - or existing in an alternate universe with very different rules.
Yesterday a student told me to commit a physically impossible act on myself, using (of course) much shorter words. Since it was done anonymously, there isn't much to do except move on. I know it was one of a handful of students who are failing and refuse help. They fail to understand certain things: they need help; it is being offered and refused; they don't have to like me any more than I have to like them (which doesn't change that I will help them if they let me); and - whether they get the help from me or someone else, they still have to pass the math class to graduate.
This was followed today by a heartfelt thank you from a student who was never in a class of mine - someone I had to chase out of class everyday because I taught her friend. I always liked her, we are friends on facebook - and I was honored to get thanks when I did nothing.
I guess it all about balance.