Approaching preschool with explosive 4 y/o
I don't think you are obligated to tell the teacher, but I think it might be a positive thing to mention to her that your DD is currently having some issues so that you open the door for clear communication between school and home.
A lot of 4 year olds have behavior issues -- its part of what preschool is about. If this is an solid, experienced teacher, she has meant kids without a lot of emotional control before.
I agree with Linda. Personally, I would discuss it with them in terms of your daughter has some anxiety (around x, y, z), and while it initially manifested as internalizing (shyness, avoidance), it's now sometimes externalizing and her really big feelings can sometimes overwhelm her. Experienced teachers will have seen this before.
Have you seen this article about anxiety and behaviour? An anxiety response can be fight, flight or freeze.
Since I originally posted this thread, dd has had a few more public outbursts; nothing serious but a couple in offense to something other adults were doing, which is new. Fortunately they were minor, but loud enough to make me pray for the floor to open up and swallow me. Like today I let her stay at the park an extra 20 minutes, she screamed briefly and then seemed over it. On the way out a woman with her 2 kids + one in a stroller started to chat me up and even before she got within earshot, dd started to say some clippy thing expressing her dislike about the baby. When I ignored her, she got louder. I thjnk it was vague enough that the lady didn't understand what she meant, but dd kept pushjng it all the way to the car. I was so mad I forgot all about Plan B and told her we wouldn't be having a popsicle at home after all. So then she started to rage and I tried to pojnt out her behavior and she said she was sorry but I told her that she needed to show me better behavior. She cried and said I was being rude and mean!
I feel like the Plan B approach is actually helping to improve things at home, but it definitely feels like she's just pushing my buttons with this stuff! I'm still hoping I can get her into Pre-K without feeling like I have to warn her teacher.
The other thing is we talked about why she "hates" babies so much, and she said its because when they are around she is scared of hurting them (not intentionally). So on the way to the library yesterday, we talked about things she could do safely with a baby, like peek-a-boo, etc. Then the minute we are in the kid's area, a toddler climbs up on the platform next to her and she turns to me and says loudly, "I'M THE ONLY ONE ALLOWED UP HERE RIGHT NOW!" I calmly collected our things and moved her to a quiet place. She immediately began saying sorry, and when I tried to explain my disapproval, she looked genuinely stricken and said, "I'm worried you don't like me." ***sigh*** I can't tell if I'm coming or going. :-[
I am a former Pre-K teacher and I am a mom of special needs kids. I think you do need to let your daughters teacher know. I know I would appreciate knowing, if only so I could keep an eye on her social interactions and help her better solve problems and relate to her peers as well as give you feedback. The main point of Pre-K is really to get the kids emotionally and socially ready for Kindergarten and the pp is right, we deal with "difficult" kids all the time. It would be a lot easier on everyone to give the teacher a heads up and then have things go well, or have some minor predictable incidents, than to keep it on the down low and then have the teacher be calling you and saying there are big problems. When my oldest, who was diagnosed with anxiety and OCD at four, started Kindergarten, I didn't want him to be labeled or to give the teacher preconceived notions about him. Well he responded to the stress of school by bolting from the classroom several times a day! So we had to discuss that DS had some issues with anxiety and come up with a plan to address it at school in a healthier way. Now if I had told her right off, we still wouldn't have known how he'd respond till he started, but she wouldn't have been flying blind with him either, which wasn't fair in hindsight. I didn't make that mistake again. And the Pre-K staff can really be your allies in helping your daughter get the help she needs. I know I had access to behavioral therapists that could come in and observe and work with kids, even offer testing and screening to rule out other issues. Its really best for her to get all this hammered out in Pre-K so you can go into K and elementary armed with the info and tools she needs to be successful.
So next Tuesday is the real deal... will I make it out the door without a child attached to my leg or a phone call?
That sounds so positive! My daughter has similar issues, and (this is a bit late for you, I know), I always e-mail to warn/discuss her behavior or potential behavior. All the teachers, group leaders, etc are always very happy to hear from me, I think because it gives them some insight into a situation that would otherwise be understandably confusing.
Good job and good luck!