She’s a rock for the children
Shirley Rock is not just a maid at the Frederick Smith Secondary School.
She is the proud “mother” of thousands of boys and girls who either studied there or are still students there, the one they ran to for advice, help and care.
“From the time I came here, me and the children became one. These children are my children and I am their mother. I am their mother, their nurse, their grandmother and their food provider because everything that they need I am here to help with,” said Rock, almost 20 years a member of the non-teaching staff.
Staff members and even visitors to the institution speak about the fast response of the 50-year-old to the students, especially in their time of need.
“If a child fall down at school, the first person they would call is Miss Rock and don’t care where I am or what I doing, I leave and come along. If they are dirty, I bathe them,” she told the MIDWEEK NATION.
“If they fall down, I pick them up. If they want uinforms, I give them. If they are hungry, I feed them. If they are leaving the school and they look untidy, I tidy them because they are mine,” she said.
But she believes in discipline too. Many of the students know that they “can’t make trouble and let Miss Rock see”.
According to the Wednesday Woman, any mischievous act carried out in her sight must be reported to school officials and corrective action taken.
“Children must do the right thing and they are my children, so they must do the right thing,” Rock said. “I am like a teacher because I see a lot and I know a lot.
“So when I complain for a child, I know why because I go by what I see and not what I hear. If I am on the corridors and a child sees me coming, they would run and go in the classroom because they know I coming to correct them and they have that respect for me.”
Rock says she loves all her children whether “good or bad, hard-ears or own-way”.
“I work with everybody and try to mould them into good people,” she said. “I give them the examples of my daughters who are role models. I have twin daughters; right now one is an attorney at law and one is a doctor of philosophy. I tell them that if they, my daughters, came here and [succeeded], they can do it too because they are all my children.”
The Checker Hall, St Lucy resident said she was pleased that the students appreciated what she did.
“I like being here,” she remarked. “On mornings when I wake up I am like: ‘Lord, thank you that I am coming to this school’. I don’t think that there is anywhere else I would love to work. I love my children.”