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Perceived stress and coping mechanism of middle and high school principals - Research Paper Example

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Perceived Stress and Coping Mechanisms of Middle and High School Principals in the Workplace University Name Perceived Stress and Coping Mechanisms of Middle and High School Principals in the Workplace Introduction Being a principal is quite a stressful job…
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Download file to see previous pages In addition to these long hours, there is a constantly increasing demand from administrative bodies that are placed upon school principals which causes even more exhaustion. This often results in declining physical and mental health (Brock & Grady, 2002). Principals are responsible for the well-being of hundreds of students, taking into consideration the special abilities and needs of some students. The role of the principal is not an easy task. They lead what amounts to small businesses or corporations that are rated based on their productivity, of in the case of educational institutions, test scores. Today, even more more mades are being added to this already lengthy list of expectations for principals. Add to that a mountain of paperwork and meetings, queries and complaints from parents, playground and lunchtime duties, and there is certainly the potential for for even more stress than one can handle. In a recent study conducted by Tomizan & Waldon (2004), it was discovered that many school principals were so stressed by the pressure of their jobs that nearly half have work-related medical problems. This study revealed that eight out of ten principals experienced high levels of stress, with the ‘unnecessary paperwork’ and managerial nature of their job being the biggest concerns. The survey that was conducted found a conflict between the way principals see their role as educators and the reality of having to be a manager. They have to contend with high levels of internal conflict between what they consider to be their primary responsibility - creating a quality educational environment for students - and the demands placed on them by the department. The study also uncovered that nearly half the principals surveyed had a medical problem linked to work, with the most common being weight control, heart disorders and headaches. Most principals, however, tend to ignore their health problems and often returning to work without having fully recovered from various illnesses. Some said the job robbed them of time with their families, and some admitted they often found it difficult to maintain a fully satisfying relationship. This particular study also pointed out the reality that nearly half of all principals are some type of medication directly related to the stress of this career (Tomizan & Waldon, 2004). All of this information makes it plausible to assume that the stress levels endured by principals is at an all-time high and is only going to increase in the near term. Background Study Related to Stress Stress has become a part of the job description for most school principals. According to Selye (1974) who coined the term, stress is “the nonspecific response of the body to any demand placed upon it, whether it is caused by, or results in, pleasant or unpleasant conditions.” (p. 74). The theories present by Selye have garnered much discussion through the years. Some use the word stress to talk about heartache or loss, or some other less than desirable situation or task that they are forced to encounter. For others, stress is the physical reaction manifested in the form of heartburn, chest pain, or other types of palpitations. Still other consider stress to be what they perceive to be the end result to these physical problems, such as the occurrence of an ulcer or heart attack (Roesch, 1979). In the end, Selye created a new word to better describe ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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