Romney Brock always knew she wanted to work with kids, but she wasn’t sure how.
It wasn’t until she fell in love with literature while studying English at the University of Mississippi that she realized her future was in teaching.
“I love working with kids — obviously, since I have four of my own,” said the 49-year-old Pillow Academy teacher. “I am very lucky because I go to work every day to do something I really love. That’s truly a blessing.”
The veteran educator got her start in the profession when she and her husband, Don, were in Oxford while he attended the Ole Miss law school.
She began substituting in 1993 in Oxford and landed her first full-time job the following year, instructing English at Lafayette County High School. Her first year at Pillow came in 1995.
Brock taught for two years before taking a break to raise her family.
After about a 10-year hiatus from teaching, she went back to work at Pillow in 2006 and has taught there ever since.
Brock is in her 16th year at Pillow and has already taught all four of her children while they attended the school, including the two who still attend: Andrew (ninth grade) and Caroline (11th grade).
Her older two — William Dent and Adair — are now in school at Ole Miss.
“I loved having them in class, but I don’t think they did — simply because I am much tougher on them than my normal students,” said the 1988 Jackson Prep and 1992 Ole Miss graduate. “I can tell you this for sure: Pillow Academy has been very supportive of me and what all of us teachers are trying to do.
“I tell all of my students that God gives us all a special talent to use for others and spread his word. All students are special no matter their grade on the latest test. It’s our job to help them find that talent.”
At first she considered herself somewhat of an outsider in the Mississippi Delta, but the Jackson native said her first few months in Greenwood and at Pillow went quite smoothly and she was welcomed with open arms. Brock considers longtime former PA English teacher Jere Stansel to be a mentor and friend because Stansel was so helpful after she first arrived at the school.
Brock said Stansel isn’t the only person at Pillow from whom she has learned over the years.
“I feel like I have learned something from every kid I have taught. I feel like I owe them my time because that’s is someone’s child, someone’s sibling, someone’s grandchild. ... I have learned as much from them as hopefully they have learned from me.”
• Contact Bill Burrus at 581-7237 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The original version of this article misspelled the first name of Caroline Brock.