Listening helps learning process

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 November, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 November, 1998, 12:00am

Did you always want to be a school princi pal? Before I became principal, I taught for 23 years. I really love teaching, but being a principal is a challenging task. When I first came here, I asked myself: 'Do I only want a higher salary, or is it God's wish for me to lead the school? What is the most demanding part of a principal's job today? You have to keep learning and improving. Experience alone is not enough to cope with the challenges. You have to keep up with the world. You have to be willing to listen to teachers, students and parents.

How does today compare with the challenges 10 years ago? Students nowadays do not treasure opportunities because everything comes so easily. They tend to put in less effort because more university places are available. The workload of teachers has become heavier. They need to make a greater effort to motivate students. It is also tougher because they have less respect from students.

Can you describe your style of headship? I let teachers make decisions. I have an open-door policy. I am always prepared to listen.

Who influenced your approach? Yeung Po-kwan, a former principal of Ming Yin College, who is committed to education and has complete trust in his staff.

What do you enjoy as a school head? Having the opportunity to make my vision come true. I prefer a 'success for all' rather than exam-oriented system. I also enjoy seeing students take part in community service.

What don't you enjoy? I would like each student to think he or she is part of a big family but have met some resistance.

What is the most memorable moment of your career so far? When past students come back and thank me.

How would you like to be re membered? As a principal who had vi sion and helped the school improve.

How can you cope with pres sures? I go out with other principals and have fun.

What would you like to tell your students? I hope they are proud of their school.

What would you like to tell your teachers? The same thing.

Any tips for other principals? Keep learning. Be willing to listen and strike a balance between work and leisure.

Name: Stephen Hui Chin-yim Years of headship: seven Age: 52 School: Ming Kei College