Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


School of Education


Leadership Studies


Organization & Leadership EdD

First Advisor

Jane Bleasdale

Second Advisor

Ursula Aldana

Third Advisor

Danfeng Koon


Teaching is one of the most stressful professions in the human service industry (Curry & O’Brien, 2012; Fisher, 2011; Herman et al., 2018; Martin, et al., 2012; Montgomery & Rupp, 2005; Schonert-Reichl, 2017). Stress and burnout have been shown to contribute to the attrition of teachers (Darling-Hammond, 2001; Fisher, 2011; Johnson et al., 2005; Klingbeil & Renshaw, 2018; Winchester, 2020). While there are shortages across many disciplines, the bilingual teacher shortage has been documented as the most severe (Swanson & Mason, 2017). This study utilized Community Cultural Wealth as a theoretical framework to investigate how bilingual teacher leaders experience stress and burnout and explore Transcendental Meditation (TM) as a resource to help teachers gain greater access to the cultural strengths they use to cope with stress and burnout. This study utilized a mixed methods, randomized controlled design and took place from January through May of 2021. Sixty-two bilingual teacher leaders from throughout California were randomly assigned to the Transcendental Meditation group (n = 31) or the wait-list control group (n = 31).

Six major themes emerged from the data in this study. First, the findings revealed that family values, aspirational dreams, and linguistic and cultural heritage made these bilingual teacher leaders into the hardworking professionals they are, devoted to doing their best. Second, the findings also revealed that familial, aspirational, and linguistic and cultural identities are both a strength and a struggle. Third, almost all of the bilingual teacher leaders in this study came to the realization that in order to survive stress and burnout, they must take care of themselves. Fourth, social, navigational, and resistant capital emerged as the dominant strategies bilingual teacher leaders relied upon to get through tough times. Fifth, rest as a form of radical resistance emerged as a significant finding from the data analysis. Sixth, the quantitative data showed that transcendental meditation significantly reduced perceived stress (p < .001) and burnout, emotional exhaustion (p = .003) and lack of accomplishment (p = .004), for bilingual teacher leaders in the treatment group as compared with the control. The quantitative findings supported the qualitative results indicating that meditation was effective in reducing stress and burnout for bilingual teacher leaders.