Well-being and the vocation of the school superintendent.


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School superintendents face numerous challenges, high demands, and pressures from the community, school board, and stakeholders. State and federal accountability policies and mandates contribute to rising levels of stress for superintendents, which negatively affects their health and well-being. As a result, superintendents are leaving their positions sooner, which impacts a district’s growth and stability. Superintendents who do stay in their positions often experience the negative effects of stress leading up to job burnout. The purpose of this phenomenological case study was to understand the perceptions of school superintendents regarding their well-being and to examine how school superintendents perceive adopting well-being practices to enhance a work-life balance and managing job-related challenges and stresses. Nine superintendents from public and charter school districts in Texas participated in this study. The findings show how superintendents’ biggest sources of stress stem from decision-making and work demands, while support groups, physical health, and vacations promote their well-being the most. Superintendents also consider work-life balance to be essential to their well-being as an imbalance can cause stress to spillover to other areas of their lives. A call for superintendent support groups and networks was voiced to empower superintendents with the tools and guidance needed to succeed and remain effective in their jobs.



Burnout. Well-being. Self-care. Resilience. Occupational stress. Stress reduction. Mindfulness. Work-life balance. Wellness. Sacrifice syndrome. Spillover.