Please excuse the long post, but we have an upcoming meeting with our daycare provider and things have not been going well there. I want to try and give as many details as possible. Our daughter is 3 1/2 and is our only child, so we have nothing to compare to. For development, she seems normal - she's starting to write, can recognize some words, is potty trained, speaks well, listens well (at times) - i.e. nothing to indicate that she was anything other than a normal 3 1/2 year old.
About 2 months ago our daycare (she's in daycare full time as we both work) proposed moving her to the next classroom about 6 months early. At first we were hesitant, but the teachers said she's really smart and being the oldest kid in the class she was "ready" to move up. Since then things have gone progressively downhill.
The morning teacher in her new room writes us a journal every day of her missteps. According to the teacher, she exhibits behavior we just have not seen from her in her interactions with our friends' children (we have bout 12 children 2-8 in our "group" of friends). At our house or at others houses, she plays well with the other kids, shares toys and never has an outburst. Her teacher tells us daily stories of her hitting other kids, having tantrums when she has to wait in line, hitting the teacher etc.
The afternoon teachers though have only noted one or two incidents where she shoved another child, so the problems seem exclusive to the morning teacher.
A good example was yesterday. The journal said another child took her book and that our daughter hit or pushed her. Before even asking our daughter about it, she told us that the other child came over, hit her in the arm and took the book and that yes, she pushed her. I have seen this other child in what to me looks like trying to provoke our daughter ("I'm not touching you" type of stuff).
We were also told she held another child down and slammed his head into the ground - which to us is absurd as we've never seen any sort of behavior like that (and she's the youngest by at least 6 months and pretty much the smallest). There are 4 or 5 older boys (4 to 4 1/2) in her class that I've seen get very rough with each other on the playground, so if she really did do that I have a good idea where she learned it.
Our concern is that for some reason this teacher seems to be singling her out. Whether it's because she doesn't want to deal with a younger and less emotionally developed child that requires extra attention we just don't know. We suggested that maybe she should go back up to her old class and "graduate" with them back to the older class on schedule (June). The teacher's reply was that she didn't think that was a solution. We asked the teacher if she gives time outs for bad behavior and her response was that she doesn't discipline her children. What worries us the most is she wrote that she's not sure what else the school can do for her. I've also seen what I'm beginning to perceive is her being a bit of an outsider in her class - playing alone at times when the other kids are watching a movie. It could be imagined but there is a worry that the other kids sense her emotional state and try to exacerbate the situation.
Now it gets weird - we have a meeting scheduled this week with the director and her to discuss the issues. However today, she contacted my wife and said she needed to meet with us this weekend and to not tell the director or she would be fired - and she noted at this points she didn't really care. Now we're VERY concerned. This is a very reputable daycare in our area. We waited 9 months to get into it from our old daycare center. The thought that runs through our mind is that teacher will tell us that in her opinion our child has some sort of problem and needs to be in a special school and that she's going to tell us the director feels otherwise and to just let her ride it out.
I will say that she can be emotional at times if she wants something and we (or the teacher) says no. She doesn't really throw full blown temper tantrums, but she will get in a tizzy which involves crying, yelling "yes" of we say no, sometimes an attempt to strike out (which we usually at that point either give her a time out, or if she's playing with a favorite toy we give the toy a time out). From our friends who mostly have 2 kids her age or older, they just say "perfectly normal" for her age.
Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
We are having similar issues at our daycare with our son. They also keep journals. The journal is just to keep record of a childs day, if there is a pattern to the outbursts and meltdowns, it is easier to nail down what the cause is. We have already contacted a 3rd party specialists, they work with daycares in our county, to came in and observe. That way, if they see something the rest of us don't,we can resolve it. 3 1/2 is very emotional and we all want what's best for our kids. I don't know how your relationship is with the morning teacher.. but i wouldn't meet with her. Just based on the fact that she told you shouldn't be meeting with you or she'd be fired. unprofessional and screams red flags. Hang in there!