Yes, I still don't entirely know what to think of this teacher. Our first interaction with him was when he tried to form an AMC team virtually last year, and my kids dabbled but ultimately stopped attending his meetings. But I am pretty sure the Alg II student is making things up about the teacher promoting DS behind his back. I do feel from the USAMTS suggestion that the teacher really appreciates and wants to encourage my kid, and I'm grateful, but a little overwhelmed that he's putting so much on him! Still, my DS doesn't seem too stressed by the expectations. He rolled his eyes at the USAMTS but can't seem to stop working on it. Still, he's only solved 1.5 or 2 problems so far out of 5, so it's doubtful he'll get enough correct answers in the next 24-ish hours to rank well. But if he gets another set of problems in the next round and enjoys those too, it'll be worth it.
All I know is that I'm seeing the kid I knew back in fourth grade, curious and intuitive and willing to use all the resources at his disposal, even if it means admitting he didn't get it on the first try, and I like it.