All about me - My big question: Who will give us pound;25 million?

26th September 2008 at 01:00
Gary Smith, 51, is headteacher at Market Field, a school in Essex for children with moderate learning difficulties

What is the best advice you have been given?

Always do your best and respect a man for what he does, not for who he is.

What's your proudest achievement?

On a personal level, three wonderful children. On a professional level, becoming a headteacher and being invited to 10 Downing Street.

What one thing would change your life for the better?

Being listened to by the local authority, or the Government. I'm not choosy.

What is the song of your life?

"The Greatest Love of All" by Whitney Houston.

Who do you most admire?

The person who will give our school pound;25 million for a new build. I've tried Roman Abramovich, the Queen and Jack Petchey (businessman and philanthropist) - any other ideas?

What's the last book you read and how was it?

Deal Breaker by Harlan Coben. Good book, realism and escapism. I also like David Gemmel's books in the escapism and heroism genre.

Who would play you in the film of your life?

George Clooney (in my dreams); more likely Michael Palin.

What's the secret about teaching that the wider world doesn't know?

I guess the beauty that exists in everyone. Why doesn't everyone want to be a teacher?

Where is your favourite place?

Where my friends are. I also love the Alps and skiing.

Where in the world would you most like to visit?

I would love to heli-ski in Canada or swim with dolphins.

If you could meet anyone from history, who would it be?

John F. Kennedy. He was so young and yet so passionate and determined.

Apart from the job, what three things are the most important to you?

Lauren, Samuel and Rianna - my three children.

What do you wish you'd known when you started teaching that you know now?

To not expect respect, to know it has to be earned. I made some fundamental errors as a young PE teacher, which taught me this.

What's the big question about life that you would most like answered?

Who has pound;25 million to build what our children need? Or, will West Ham ever win the Premiership? I think the former is more likely to be answered positively.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today