Culture vulture

7th October 2005 at 01:00
Caroline Crowe hits New York for the galleries (and the handbags)

Best book ever

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a book I have re-read often. I love the innocence of Jem and Scout (the children of lawyer Atticus Finch, a white lawyer who defends a black man) and their contribution to the whole story.

Best film ever

Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant (pictured) is the ultimate comfort film, to be watched curled up on the sofa with a hot drink after a bad week.

Best this year

I started at St Catherine's with another young teacher, Cormac McAnallen, a famous Gaelic footballer. He was captain when Tyrone became All-Ireland champions. Tragically he died in 2004 of a heart attack when he was only 24 and this year we started a series of annual lectures at school called the Cormac McAnallen leadership lecture. President Mary McAleese came to give the inaugural lecture.

Best resource

Every year in physics I teach convection currents to Year 9 by getting pupils to bake cakes. They dress up with aprons and over-sized chef's hats and we make a marble cake with layers of coloured dough with red at the bottom. When we cut the cakes it's so easy to see how convection works, how the bottom colour has moved up the sides and into the centre.

To share with pupils

When pupils lose confidence in their ability, I let on that I was once the shyest person and am now a singer in a band (with the Christian singer-songwriter Johnny Parks). I learned to sing as a way of overcoming my shyness and now get up on stage and perform. I think it really helps them to change perspective on their problems and overcome difficulties.

Looking forward to

Going to New York to visit art galleries and to buy something really frivolous like a bag or shoes with cash from my salary increase as head of year.

Caroline Crowe, 26, is head of Year 8 and teaches science at St Catherine's College, an all-ability 11-18 secondary school in Armagh, Northern Ireland.

She sings with the Johnny Parks band, a Christian singersongwriter.

Interview by Elaine Williams

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