Proactively Mitigating School Leader’s Emotionally Draining Situations


  • Katina Pollock University of Western Ontario
  • Fei Wang University of British Columbia
  • Cameron Hauseman University of Manitoba


school leadership, student discipline, emotional exhaustion, well-being, work–life balance, work intensification


This case study focuses on emotionally draining situations for school leaders in the context of work intensification. Specifically, it draws upon real-life reports from Canadian studies (Alberta Teachers' Association, 2014, 2017; Leithwood & Azah, 2014; Author, 2014, 2015, 2017) to present a fictitious scenario. This case depicts a high school principal who must simultaneously deal with student discipline, interact with parents, conduct classroom walk-throughs, complete tasks associated with being an instructional leader, and work with teachers—to name a few. Readers are encouraged to connect research to practice through several teaching activities that include: a jigsaw discussion approach; a think-pair-share approach; a forum theatreapproach,and, a pro and con gridapproach. 

Author Biography

Fei Wang, University of British Columbia

Assistant Professor

Department of Educational Studies

Faculty of Education

University of British Columbia


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