Their lack of support is characterized by the following actions:
- Little or late response
- Little to no positivity
- Minimal communication at best
- Negative statements and name calling
- Little to no inclusion with regard to decision making, ideas and collaborative efforts
- A "better-than" attitude and action
These non-supporters can serve to take us down if we let them, but instead we have to analyze their lack of support by asking the following questions:
- Does research support their actions and non-support?
- Are you contributing to their negative attitude and response?
- Is there a systematic issue at play?
As I think of non-supporters in my close realm of teaching and learning, I can think of more inclusive actions to build greater support, actions such as good, initial meetings, mutual goal setting, and open, steady lines of communication and response.
With regard to those outside of the intimate teaching/learning circle, it's a more complex issue, one that requires steady observation, analysis, and thought as I work to get underneath the negativity, lack of support, and little to no inclusion, transparency, and collaboration.
What's also important here is to think about when you might be a non-supporter. What efforts in your midst do you not support, and why is that true? How can you be a more supportive teacher, team member, service worker, and friend? These are important questions.
It's best to contribute to a supportive environment, one that fosters positive teamwork and collaboration. I am fortunate to work with a close group of educators who are supportive leading to very good collaboration when it comes to serving all students well and modeling the potential that collaboration holds for positive, forward-moving work and service. Onward.