So, we plan to meet with the daycare director because we have had enough... DS is 2.5 years old and very easy going, and on the small size. He gets along with all the kids in the room - but there is this one boy who is noticiably bigger than him who seems to have issues.
When DS was in the toddler room with him, this boy used to "mess" with him at times like when they sat next to each other, the other boy would put his feet on DS's chair or lean over to touch him or something. We suspect DS got stuck sitting next to him because the other boys would get even angrier and the teachers were trying to avoid all out war or wrestling matches at mealtimes. Which is annoying. And he would randomly push him at times then other times, want to cozy up to him.
Then he moved up, so DS had 3-4 months without this boy. Now DS moved up, and at first, it seemed mostly fine - DS just avoided him when he could, and there was another boy that this other boy targeted. Well, that boy withdrew from the school as a result, and it appears that he is back to randomly picking at DS. We have witnessed a few incidents - and the teachers immediately correct the other boy. But what concerns us is that nothing the teachers are doing is working. We can psych-analyze all we want (to me, at this age, that is a sign of bad home life where he is not getting attention he wants from the people he wants - because he definitely more likely to gun for DS when DH does the pickup or drop off but when it is me, he ignores DS sometimes and tries to get me to read a book or something or he is sitting somewhere, doing his own thing). But regardless of what the source is, it is clear that the teachers are not able to modify his behaviour and as DS gets older, we don't want to keep having him in a room with a child like this. Part of the problem is that we have seen this child do it on the sly or just subtle (so not like outright punching, kicking or biting) and on occasion it is as big as trying to rip a toy out of DS's hands. The teacher has mentioned she noticed DS avoids this boy and that this boy for some reason has a weird relationship regarding DS so she makes a point not to have them sit together at circle time or meal times, but it is not resolving the issue rest of the time.
I know 2 is too young to classify as a true bully, but his behaviour is very classic bullying behavoiur, and whatever the teachers are trying is clearly not working. Which we plan to bring up to the daycare director. Because without change, he is definitely headed down the wrong road and we don't want him dragging DS down with him. He is already the cause of one child leaving the school... and we are not willing to tolerate anymore attempts by the teacher to manage it because it is not working. Luckily for us, DS likes the other kids and loves the teachers - and does not seem too bothered by this boy other than when the boy gets into his space.
I looked up the old thread that KAM/CT-DC posted - and I am not sure shadowing will work or be an option because it is not an anger issue - he does not react under anger or show outright aggression.