Poor ninth graders. As if they don't already have enough to manage, what with an overwhelming new environment, bigger class size and increased academic demands, they also have to juggle multiple new teachers. In middle school, kids probably have at most two or three different teachers per day, but high school (as it does with everything) kicks that up a few notches. Now, they could have six or seven teachers each day -- all with their own methods, standards, workloads, moods and idiosyncrasies. It's really no wonder that grades plummet and dropout rates soar in ninth grade. So, even while you stay on top of your child's work and grades, remember to be understanding -- this can be a rough time. Once they hit 10th and 11th grade, though, you can really crack the whip.