Thanks for the advice everyone.
I've met with the Principal twice so far. Unfortunately he likes this teacher and defends her. He even goes as far as lying about my "accusations". She doesn't allow parent volunteers, he says she does. She doesn't allow talking, he says she does. She doesn't allow the children to work in groups (or interact with one another), he says she does. She yells at the students, he says she doesn't. They aren't allowed out of their seats, he says they are. The children are always overworked and tired, he says they're not. Tell this to my dd who came home everyday too tired to do anything else, who begged for the next weekend come Monday, who started biting her nails, who bit down the tops of all her pencils (including the metal), who usually looks forward to going to school with excitement.
The last meeting ended with him saying that the other class was full. I offered to vounteer to off-set the ratio (I am a certified elementary teacher). He said that it "would be very difficult" to make the switch but that he would "try". And that he will call me today with the news. This man is notorious for saying that he "will call me back" and never following through until I sit in the office and wait for him to not be busy. And these are for very minor things like general questions (not complaints), I am by no means a pest (until now anyway). I haven't met with the teacher because these are things that indicate her teaching style and personality. To approach her with my concerns/complaints would be attacking her as a teacher and a person. I am not confrontational. I am not letting my dd slip through the cracks, but it is just not in me to meet negativity eye-to-eye. The other parent met with her and the teacher shrugged it off and said that her dd "was just fine". This happy-go-lucky child has not gone to school in over 3 weeks because she is so afraid of the teacher.
Oh yeah, and the principal also suggested that my dd meet with the school counselor
...SHE is not the problem that needs fixing.
I am starting to heavily doubt this school. It is ranked as one of the "best" schools in Hawaii because of it's high test scores. But I am realizing that the reason they rank so high is because the teachers are constantly preparing the students for testing. Everything revolves around test preparation. I questioned their ways when they were testing my dd's 1st grade class "just for fun" when the state doesn't even do official testing until 3rd grade. This is partly why I don't want to become a teacher anymore. There is so much emphasis placed on "no child left behind", standards-based change, and testing, that teachers no longer have the freedom to teach. It's not fun anymore, not for the teachers nor the students.
I might look into proceeding to the school board, etc. And I know there are other concerned parents. I just am not sure this school is worth fighting for. And, since they are ranked high in testing (one of the only on our island), I imagine that I will be met with a lot of resistance for action. Word has it (as it is) that this teacher threatened a lawsuit if they didn't take her in as a teacher.
There is one other school that I have always planned to send dd to (until we moved just down the street from her present school). It is still public school with the same BS that goes along with it, but it is known for being more "alternative". I might look into that,
I don't know. For now though, I think I'm headed over to the HS forum (thanks for the invite Vanna's Mom