Journal of Educational Leadership in Action


Principals’ work is more complex and time consuming than in the past. An expanding workload also heightens the emotional aspects of principals’ work and can make it difficult for principals to manage their emotions. Using findings from interviews with 13 school principals, this study identifies how workload influences the emotional aspects of contemporary principals’ work. Participating principals indicated three areas where workload influences the emotional aspects of their work. These three areas include how managing an intensifying and expanding workload can heighten emotions, as well as navigating the legal aspects of principals’ work and being called out of the school building for meetings at the district office. This study concludes with a discussion of several implications for policy and practice, including a need to change the culture surrounding the principalship and a renewed focus on emotions in principal professional learning opportunities and preparation programs.


Cameron Hauseman is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba. His research interests are situated in K-12 school leadership and program evaluation, with a specific focus on the work and wellbeing of school principals. Cameron’s work is found in both academic and practitioner-focused publications.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.