ODESSA, Texas — Mollie Jones is a counselor at Ross Elementary School and she is preparing for her kids or little llamas to come back.
"Just kind of relate it to the quirky animal, everyone is unique there is no llama that’s the same," says Jones, "as a counselor, come talk to me because it’s no problema. I’m here for you."
Every year school starts, Jones tells me she steps in to help this make this new environment for students welcoming.
"A lot of what I find myself doing in the first few weeks is helping kids adjust with separation anxiety."
She also acknowledges that it will also be a hard transition for not only the students but also parents.
"If you as a parent, grandparent are a little nervous it’s very important that you deal with that away from your child because they’re gonna feed off that nervous energy," she says, "when you see somebody crying, you want to cry something in you is like 'oh it’s sad they’re crying.' It’s magnifies on a child level.
She suggests combatting this by familiarizing your child with the school that they're going to start attending on a regular basis.
"I think it’s really good when you have littles, four-year-old, five year old, even first graders. Start driving by the school and talk us up be like that’s where you’re going to be going to school you’re gonna start in four days or seven days. Drive by the school several times."
Especially with the past years students had, Jones is even more prepared to cater to kids, parents and teachers.
"Everybody has been and lived through trauma, through the pandemic and we are aware of that. We know that we need to be sensitive to every single person. Every single student and their family brings to us something different and we are ready and prepared to meet them and help them through whatever it is that might be so they know this is a great place," says Jones.