Mira has been going to the school she is currently in since last February. She got moved to a new classroom in September, due to some logistical issues (they didn't have enough toddler teachers). Her current teacher is trained to deal with older kids, and I believe that in her previous work, dealt primarily with the pre-K set. Most of the kids in the classroom are around 3, and Mira will turn 3 in February.
The issue we've had has been with drop-offs. She won't let me go. Actually, it started off okay, because she had a new teacher/classroom, but knew several of the kids who were in the toddler room with her, and the assistant from there also transferred over. The assistant then had to go on medical leave, so they got a temp. Then, they got a permanent assistant, I think that was in the first or second week of November. Since then, the classroom has been relatively stable, except for her teacher being out sick, and then the holiday breeak, of course. We've had issues since the assistant she knew went out, back at the end of September/early October.
So, we're back to square one in terms of getting her to leave me voluntarily. She'll cling to me, won't let go of my leg, will say that she'll come with me to work. If I force her off me, there is major waterworks. She generally will not go to either her class teacher or the assistant. The only day we have no issues is Friday, when she has PE, and she loves, loves, loves her PE teacher (and to a lesser extent, her Spanish and Music teachers). I am going to implement some sort of reward system - If she doesn't create any drama for a whole week, she'll get a reward, maybe a trip to the park, or something. But, my gut tells me that I shouldn't have to do this 4 months into the semester, that this classroom and teacher are not a good fit for her, that I need to find a classroom with a teacher that is more soft/nurturing. From an academic sort of perspective, I have no complaints, her teacher does an excellent job of exposing the kids to art and music and science and geography, in addition to math and reading. I just think that she's got kind of a cold/distant personality, and it isn't helping matters any.
I'm considering switching her classroom, because it doesn't seem like an altogether great idea for her to continue in this classroom for another 3 years. Of course, she'll be losing friends and familiar environment, so it would have to be worthwhile. The other possibility is switching schools, which I am reluctant to do because then she'll lose her beloved PE teacher too. Of course, another classroom/school might offer all sorts of people and teachers that she'd love, but then again, it might not.
I would try switching classrooms. We had a situation where Cams pre-k teacher left and she wasn't happy with the new teacher and neither was I. I would have switched but there was less than 2 months left so we rode it out.
FWIW we requested not to return to that teacher next year and voiced our concerns to the pre-k director. She was glad to listen to our issues.
Tough call. Do you know for a fact that the other classroom teachers have warm personality and would work with you? I am asking this because we had excellent experience with Montessori toddler class and very many problems in the upper level because of the philosophy. DS1's probs were a little different but we found that they offered only temporary solution and sorta refused to work long term; there was too much expectations on him to adjust and work out on his own; plus, the class size was 20 students on 2 teachers, which made matters worse in his case. His current school is considered traditional, developmental and they have small classes of max 8 students with 1 teacher for DS1 and 6x1 for DS2; they expose them to a lot of art, music, science. But it sounds like Mira just needs a warm teacher to transition her.
Changing schools is not easy. I would try another classroom first but carefully consider the possibilities, if any. I hope you find a teacher to work with you and her.
Another question for considering is that with DS1 crying at drop off was the first sign that there were more problems looming. He has cried at drop off at other places but rarely and calms down quickly. I don't know Mira; she could be crying for different reasons but in Kevin's case it was because he was overwhelmed by the big class and too many big kids as well the expectations for him to figure out too many things on his own.
KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)
I don't know if the other teachers are any better. I know a couple that will likely not work. I have not got the warm fuzzies from them. Oddly enough, there is a kid in her class whose mom is a teacher there as well, and comes highly recommended. I would want to do classroom observations of all the existing classes with vacandies before I would switch her (and I can't before she turns 3 in Feb). Thing is that once she is in the classroom, she works fine. The reports from the teacher and other kids' parents are that she seems happy, well adjusted, is polite and helpful, picks up new work quickly and works independently with little supervision. The class size is also a consideration, in that her class is something like 15 kids to 2 teachers (because of all of them being so young), but I think that she might do well in a traditional Montessori classroom with older kids to show her the ropes.
I talked to the principal and her teacher before she started the class, then again after the assistant left and the temp was not doing so well. We have a parent-teacher meeting coming up in about 2 weeks, and I think that I'll make a call by then, if I don't see any improvements. I know that she's perfectly capable of running into a classroom, all smiles, and pushing me out the door herself. Her toddler teacher was awesome, and that was our experience there, and I'm kind of disappointed that it has not continued.