Jules, you wrote: 'Is she already seeing him as a "problem"?'
Given the behaviour the teacher has described, I would say - yes. But this would be understandable.
From what you are posting, you seem to have generalised concerns about how he is going to be handled as part of a large group, and how he will respond to this. You also have concerns about some basic mechanics in her spelling and grammar, for example.
Now I don't know about schools in the US, but our current affairs programs were looking at OUR teachers (and kids) last week. The reported level of literacy and accuracy is woeful. Plus I've observed myself - in the population in general, including in school, spelling and grammar are of a much poorer standard than when i was growing up; even a worse standard (I feel) than ten years ago. I've also noticed poor standards in the local school's weekly newsletter.
I've worked as an editor as well as a writer, so perhaps I'm more sensitive to it. Also, difficult child 3 is determinedly accurate in these matters. We go shopping and in the supermarket the printed signs overhead tell us which is the "confectionAry" aisle, or the "stationAry" one. (I would hope the aisle is not moving!)
Teachers do seem to have much lower standards of spelling and grammar - I remember hearing a college lecturer giving a talk and she repeatedly made the grammatical mistake of "The student showed her work to her professor and I" - perhaps because saying "me", even at the right point of the sentence, sounds too coarse. I've noticed that when this mistake is made is is almost always in preference to using "I" incorrectly, rather than using "me" incorrectly.
Some of this (in Australia) we can ascribe to our massive influx of migrants in recent years (most of whom do not have English as their first language) but frankly, it is the English-speaking who I fear are the worst culprits. The misplaced apostrophe is now such a common mistake that even editors are failing to correct it in many cases. And in emails and text messages, not only have we become lazy but the use of informality and shorthand also means these are usually full of "mstayks". Don't sweat it. As long as somewhere in her head she KNOWS how to teach this correctly, I don't think this is an issue. Keep an eye on it, teach your son correctly in your work with him at home, and just leave this one for now.
What I'm saying here - from what I saw, her writing is far more skilled than many a missive I've seen from Aussie teachers. Tragic, but a fact of life. And even though difficult child 3 has had teachers of such a poor standard (grammatically) he has still become extremely skilled.
Your correspondence with the teacher - both letters were well-mannered, supportive, positive and clearly aimed to foster communication and cooperation between you. I though they were both highly effective and augured well for future constructive support for difficult child.
Of course you and the teacher will have different ideas on how you want difficult child to be handled. She has her own ideas because she is a trained professional. Until you have your meeting, she is going to be trying her own methods first, even though any advice you can give her, she will consider as part of the process. She does not have to automatically do everything exactly as you want - and speaking from my own experience, this was like a bucket of cold water in my face, when it was difficult child 3's placement in school I was dealing with. And I had already had three kids go to school - I should have known what to expect.
In your case, he is your first child to go to school. So not only are you having to adapt to your baby being at 'big school', you also are trying to ensure his difficult child needs are being tended. Frustrating, nerve-wracking and likely to make you seem obsessive. However, she did respond to your letter very carefully noting each point you had made - a lot of teachers wouldn't give you that courtesy. You don't agree completely with each other but she's not only giving you a hearing, she's answering you. She sounds like a really good teacher for your son.
But you ARE in disagreement over some things, you ARE concerned. You have both made a good start on communication, so I strongly suggest you continue.
I do recommend you consider using a communication book - your son sounds like you and the teacher would both welcome this and benefit from it.
A Communication Book (the Marg version) is an exercise book which travels in the child's bag between home and school. At home, THE PARENT is responsible for putting the book in his bag in the mornings, and taking it out and reading anything in it in the afternoons. You write your comments (I would do mine on the computer, print it, cut it out and stick it in the book - quicker and easier for the teacher to read as my writing is shocking).
And at school, is it THE TEACHER who is responsible for the book being removed from the child's bag, reading it, adding notes and putting it back. You do not at any time make the child responsible for the book. This communication is too important - if you want to teach the child responsibility, do it with something more specific to the child's own world - his raincoat, for example. His sweater. Not the book.
So you write in the book anything relevant to that day, or if you have larger concerns (such as your concern that the teacher is trying to use stern discipline) or to reinforce something good the teacher is trying to do (such as her comment that she is going to give him advance notice so he can task change more readily). You keep the tone similar to what you used in your letter and everything should be very positive. The immediacy of the Communication Book is its main benefit - you find out the same day (ideally) if there was a problem and you've got it in writing (probably informally, but it's easier to get the information straight). If you disagree with anything the school has done in a situation, you can respond by next morning. Or if something the teacher has said in the book makes something 'click' for you, something you've also observed but not quite understood, you can respond more immediately in your dealings with your own child. An example of this - difficult child 3 had been difficult at school for the previous two days. He had been fine at home although quieter than usual. Then his behaviour went right off scale at school and his teacher sent him home - at home, difficult child 3 was upset but still subdued. I had been medicating him for a cold and had been blaming the cold for the deteriorating behaviour, then as I was checking his temperature at home, concerned at what the teacher had written in the book, I noticed the faint beginning of a fine rash. If I hadn't been looking I might have missed it.
His behaviour was improved the next day because I dosed him with antihistamines for the rash; then his behaviour worsened again. The teacher commented that difficult child 3 seemed to be ignoring him although he could hear OK, he responded to the school bell in the distance. So I chose to keep him home, concerned at the teacher's comments and concerned at difficult child 3's serious inability to stay on task (compared to normal). He did his schoolwork at home but I noticed he had a lot more difficulty at home, staying on task - he would normally work well at home. I was really concerned by the combination of my own observations and the things the teacher had reported in the Book and finally worked out - the antihistamines for the allergy were shortcircuiting his stims. If I hadn't realised this, or hadn't had the chance to see the teacher's notes, I would have sent him to school with disastrous consequences for difficult child 3, the teacher and who knows?
In the Book you also have to allow the teacher to vent without fear of you getting angry with them. If the teacher has had a really bad day with him, she needs to be able to say, "He was HORRIBLE today, I could have cheerfully wrung his neck and laughed through the entire process."
You could write back something like, "I'm sorry he was so difficult for you today. I hope today is much better." You could even say, "I talked to him about HIS day, he said he was feeling uncomfortable all day because the label in his shirt was itching him - sometimes it's such a tiny thing that can make all the difference. I am now unpicking the labels from all his shirts."
The big advantage of the Communication Book is its immediacy. Also, neither you nor the teacher need to write an epic - a single line can say all you need, on some days. And it also replaces the need for classroom step consultations. And think about it - if the teacher has had a trying day but held it together, the last thing she will want is to prolong her working day one minute longer. Having written in the book she can head home for that stiff drink.
I've also used the book to set up a classroom steps consult - "Can I have a quick word to you when I collect difficult child this afternoon? I have a few concerns I didn't want to put in writing, in case difficult child read it."
The aim of the exercise is for you and the teacher to work as a team on your child. And as with teamwork, you often don't agree and have to find consensus, rather than accord. If the teacher insists things be done her way, t hen let her. She IS the boss during the day. But when her method is clearly failing, you can gently suggest, "can we now try it my way for, say, a week and see if there is any improvement?"
I do think you have made a good start so far. The school is not always going to get it right. As parents we know WE also make mistakes. But as long as we all LEARN from these mistakes and move forward in an atmosphere of cooperation and positivity, the child's welfare is in good hands.
It can be a nerve-wracking time for your first child, even for a easy child.
The meeting date has been set. I would also use the intervening time to do some homework on the regulations and make a Wish List on what you would like to see achieved for difficult child. Never forget that you are a vital part of his Learning Team.
Using these methods, I managed to stay on cooperative terms with a school that made a lot of mistakes and which routinely alienated parents, excluded therapists and refused to cooperate. I got the absolute best results that anyone could have got, by constantly making it clear we were working together and I expected cooperation (and would give it in return).
(I also kept the teacher supplied with adult humour within their taste requirements, on the grounds that they NEEDED humour as therapy, in exchange for the stress of teaching my child). I love my kids but I'm a realist.