School Counselor

Full-Time Position for the 2021-22 Academic School Year

Photo taken during the 2018-19 school year.

Other than strong coffee, what gets you going in the morning? What fires you up?

At Greensboro Montessori School, we believe there is no better job than helping students unleash their full potential — to become their best person. Our team loves coming to work every day to support our students academically, personally, socially, and psychologically. We love to inspire them, console them, challenge them, see them soar, and listen to them with intention and care. That’s what fires us up, and we’re looking for a school counselor who feels the same way.

Our newly created school counselor position will have an overarching role of helping to ensure the social and emotional well-being of our students. They will design and implement psycho-educational programs for students and staff guided by promoting a positive understanding of mental health. They will help students own, understand, and manage their important and big emotions, while also being an unyielding advocate and ally for each of them. They will be ready to pitch in when needed to be part of the team. Our team is a strong one — we are not afraid of hard work, nor are we afraid of a good laugh.

The school counselor will join our current full-time learning support services (LSS) coordinator and our part-time LSS faculty member, and together they will reorganize into a new Student Support Center. Our student support team, just like our faculty, operate with an observational and student-centered approach: we observe what children need and meet them where they are.

Our School

We are a 250-student, toddler-through-junior-high, independent school located in Greensboro, North Carolina and are accredited by the American Montessori Society, the Southern Association of Independent Schools, and Cognia. For 46 years, we have had a deep commitment to Montessori pedagogy and program, including organizing our students into three-year age groupings based on developmental planes. Our main campus is 10-acres. It includes three buildings, four permaculture gardens, multiple outside learning and play spaces, an athletic field, a gymnasium (featuring a stage, basketball court, and commercial kitchen), and an acre of woods. And with 63 fantastic faculty and staff, supportive and engaged families, a clear strategic plan, a 37-acre satellite environmental education campus, financial security, and curious and wonderful students, our School is as strong as we have ever been (even in the midst of a pandemic). Adding a school counselor to the team for the 2021-22 academic school year is an important part of our School’s mission and strategic goals. While experience in a Montessori setting is not required, a belief in child-centered, progressive education and alignment with Montessori values, is required.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Implement a comprehensive school counseling program that involves both proactive teaching and lessons, as well as being responsive to emerging needs.
  • Provide and coordinate direct instruction to students that is vertically integrated throughout the School, that connects to our Montessori peace curriculum and character education values. Lower School lessons will focus on social skills, while Upper School lessons will focus on our wellness curriculum.
  • Respond to emerging student needs by offering solution-focused, short-term support through individual and group counseling and psycho-education sessions, while engaging outside professionals when full clinical counseling and therapeutic work is recommended.
  • Through myriad strategies, activities, and tactics, help cultivate and foster a school-wide culture of emotional wellness that aligns with Montessori values of equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Support and partner with faculty to: 1) help identify root causes and strategies to support student behaviors; 2) implement peace education and conflict resolution; 3) provide resources for social-emotional and psycho-educational learning; and 4) support them personally during challenging situations in their classrooms.
  • Partner with parents through systematic family engagement and clear communication.
  • Provide adult learning on relevant topics to faculty as part of professional development experiences and to parents through regular parent education events, such as book groups.
  • Develop relationships with and a list of various external mental health professionals and serve as a liaison between outside professionals and students, families, and faculty.
  • Maintain affiliations with appropriate professional organizations, to help be aware of best practices in the field, be abreast of emerging research, and to ensure School compliance on necessary standards such as mandated reporting and the School’s Safe School policies.
  • Respond to crisis situations, such as unexpected emergencies or self harm situations.

Required Experience

  • Masters degree in a relevant field, such as School Counseling, Counseling, Social Work, School Psychology, or Applied Psychology.
  • Current licensure and/or credential as a school counselor, clinical social worker, psychologist, or relevant field.
  • Multiple years of successful experience in a relevant field and working with students in a school or school-like setting.
  • Experience with trauma-informed psycho-education, emotional regulation, and behavior intervention support.

Needed Skills and Characteristics

  • Flexibility: Able to collaborate, be observation-based, and follow the child.
  • Cultural competency: Able to effectively respond to and lead conversations around equity and inclusion needs within the community.
  • Professionalism: Able to maintain confidentiality and have strong written and oral communication.
  • Calm: Able to present and spread calm and focus, especially in high-stress situations.
  • Physical: Physical demands of the position may involve lifting and/or moving more than 100 pounds, the ability to speak and hear students and colleagues, and the ability to operate technologies.

Spanish language skills, an openness to driving a 20-passenger multifunction school activity bus, and an openness to connect with students in the natural environment, while not required, are a plus for any potential GMS employee … and we are a little suspicious of anyone who doesn’t drink coffee.

To Apply

Please email a (1) cover letter, (2) résumé, and (3) single picture or image that somehow captures something about student wellness that is very important to you to our human resources consultant, Heather Goggin, at [email protected].

Greensboro Montessori School does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, gender, disability, age, national origin, marital status, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status with respect to recruitment, hiring, compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment.