Did you always want to be a school princi pal? No. I always wanted to be a teacher. I love teaching students. Before I was a principal, I had been teaching for 24 years and was satisfied with my job. However, there was an opportunity to take up the challenge to carry out my vision of nurturing an all-round student. What is the most demanding part of a principal's job today? To adapt to the new education policies and initiatives. I try to strike a balance between external and internal school matters. How does this compare with the challenges 10 years ago? Then, the economy was booming, but people felt uncertain about Hong Kong's future. Now the political environment is more stable, but the economy is slumping. University places were rare but students could find a good job after graduation. Now there are plenty of university places but graduates face intense competition. Teachers used to be highly respected, but today they have to be prepared to be challenged every minute. Can you describe your style of headship? I welcome opinions. I will seek consultation before an important decision is made. I see myself as the head teacher who enables other teachers to perform their tasks better. What influenced your approach? My personality. And the culture of the school, which is mutual respect and team spirit. How would you like to be re membered? A principal who would try his best to solve problems. What do you enjoy as a school head? I enjoy working things out with teachers and seeing them develop to become more experienced and caring teachers. I like to hear of the achieve ments of my students because of the hard work of the teachers. What don't you enjoy? A lot of paper work and external meetings that distract me from school matters. What is the most memorable moment of your career? Seven years ago, one of my past students said hello to me when I met him in the street in Sydney, Australia. We sat down to have a cup of coffee at a roadside cafe. It came so unexpectedly and yet was so real. How do you cope with the pres sure of your job? I avoid working after dinner. Usually I take a walk with my wife after dinner. She is a principal at another secondary school. I listen to light music, watch TV and do gardening. Occasionally I will go on short trips to the mainland with other school principals. Who is your hero? Mother Teresa, who devoted her whole life to serving the suffering and the despised. What would you like to tell your students? Take greater initiative in learning and developing yourselves to face intense competition. However, a feeling of compassion for the weaker ones in society is also needed. After all, that is what makes us human. What would you like to tell your teachers? Try to understand your students more. Unlike 10 years ago, we need to find ways to motivate students to learn. Knowing your students' needs is important. Any tips for principals? There is very little you can do without the genuine support of the teachers. Getting your ideas across to them requires patience, but it pays off.