By Bill Rogers

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Additional info for I Get by with a Little Help...: Colleague Support in Schools (Macmillan Teaching Resource)

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Rogers, 1999). 32 I Get by •book 20/4/04 10:52 AM DETERMINANTS Page 33 AFFECTING COLLEAGUE SUPPORT IN SCHOOLS COPING AND SUPPORT Coping, at its best, is more than ‘mere’ coping or, as Freeman (1987) argues, ‘defensive behaviour such as distortion of reality’ (p. 37). ‘Coping’ includes ‘adaptation’ and ‘mastery’ as well as ‘survival’. It includes the immediate and longer-term aspects of coping; immediate coping often includes crisis-coping, whereas long-term coping is significantly affected by the dependability of structures, policy and procedures one can depend upon to give adequate and necessary support.

252–3). In this sense de-affiliation (by others) and unsupportive behaviour(s) act on each other reciprocally, and selfdefeatingly, and are often an indicator of an unsupportive workplace. For example, when a school culture addresses factors such as teaming, collaboration and shared decision-making, ‘de-affiliative’ behaviours can have a significant effect on the sense of common good and mutual regard for all (including the students). Without some shared sense of what Johnson (1972) terms ‘consensual validation’, the events, and even people’s behaviour (around us), are often ambiguous and open to a variety of interpretations.

130). Such trust is able to positively affect the resilience of the culture in coping with normative stress and change. ‘Shared understandings and agreed behaviours enable staff in schools where this culture is dominant to trust and learn from one another. The relationships which they create in the process are tough and flexible enough to withstand shocks and uncertainties from within and without’ (1989. p. 74). 42 I Get by •book 20/4/04 10:52 AM DETERMINANTS Page 43 AFFECTING COLLEAGUE SUPPORT IN SCHOOLS • These ‘shared understandings’ are noticeably present in the management of conflict and change where staff do not allow natural ‘differences’ – even ‘disputes’ and ‘dissention’ to disrupt ongoing colleague relationships.

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