Laboratory Schools: Counselor, Lower School

Job description

Hyde Park Campus


About the Unit
The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools provide one of the world's most outstanding pre-collegiate educational experiences. Because Lab is part of the University of Chicago, the importance of intellectual life—of thought and exploration—infuses all aspects of our curriculum, and students in every grade benefit from outstanding UChicago academicians and access to unmatched resources. John Dewey—one of the great minds in education—established the Schools in 1896 as a place to explore and implement his theories on childhood education. Today's students still benefit from his vision, and today's Lab faculty are recognized as experienced leaders in their field. Families who choose Lab care deeply about curiosity, inquiry, and creativity. Approximately 60 percent of Lab families are affiliated with the University, half live in Hyde Park, and the rest come from across Chicago, the suburbs, and northern Indiana. Lab's student body reflects the diversity that is deeply valued by the Schools and its community; approximately half of our 2,000 students are people of color and families report speaking nearly 40 different languages in their homes. The Laboratory Schools seek the finest employees—people who wish to inspire a love of learning in our students and join a vibrant learning community. We employ people with a wide range of skills and training, in many different disciplines. At Lab, we value learning experientially, exhibiting kindness, and honoring diversity. We seek employees who share a similar commitment to these values. Lab people are engaged and excited by our mission of igniting and nurturing an enduring spirit of scholarship, curiosity, creativity, and confidence in the youngest members of the University of Chicago's academic community. The Laboratory Schools is a great place to work and our connection to the University provides our faculty and staff with opportunities that would be nearly impossible to match in any other environment.

Job Information

Job Summary:

Lower School Counselors are a visible and active presence in the classroom and in the school observing frequently in classrooms and meeting regularly with teachers and learning support staff to discuss and strategize regarding support of individual children. Counselors provide direct services to children including crisis intervention with individuals and groups of children, short-term individual counseling, and facilitating a variety of student groups during the school day addressing social and emotional issues to enhance social and pragmatic skills.

Anticipated start date for this position is 9/1/2018.

Full-time teachers are expected to work a 40-hour week and the required number of days as stipulated in the Faculty Association contract. All teachers are expected to perform in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.


  • Working with parents is an essential part of the counselor's role in the school, including consultation regarding child guidance, family issues, and helping with difficulties a child may be experiencing in school. The counselor guides and supports the parents in the process of finding the best resources developing knowledge of, and maintains working relationships with outside referral sources including mental health professionals, occupational therapists, and speech and language therapists in support of the child's needs.
  • It is often the responsibility of the counselor to initiate and lead meetings and/or staffing about an individual child who is experiencing challenges in school. These meetings include teachers, parents, principal, learning support staff and often outside professionals.
  • Building deep relationships with students, families, and staff and maintaining strong lines of communication with families about student progress fosters a shared understanding of the critical transition families make when children enter nursery school. We are looking for team members who will emanate optimism, share feedback to solve problems, reflect on how your actions impact others, take ownership of creating an inclusive culture, and support and collaborate with teammates in the pursuit of Lab's mission.
  • The Lower School Counselor is part of the Learning and Counseling Team that provides educational care for all students in the Lower School. The counselor works closely as a team with the Learning and Counseling Department and the Director of Student Services to insure continuity of care for all students in Lower School. Counselors report to the Principal.

  • Ability to be agile and flexible required.
  • Ability to interact with a diverse group of faculty, staff, students, and parents required.
  • Knowledge of diversity, equity and inclusion issues and dynamics in the classroom and in developing healthy, supportive relationships with all students.
  • Strong knowledge of course subject matter required.
  • Knowledge of instructional methodologies required.
  • Strong knowledge of child development required.
  • Ability to develop curricula, lesson plans and assessment tools required.
  • Analytical skills required.
  • Problem-solving skills required.
  • Decision-making skills required.
  • Attention to detail required.
  • Organizational skills required.
  • Computational skills required.
  • Creativity required.
  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills required.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team required.
  • Ability to manage stressful situations required.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality required.
  • Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously, set priorities, and meet deadlines required.

Additional Requirements

Education, Experience, and Certification:

Education and Certification:
  • Bachelor's degree in psychology, social work, education, or related field required.
  • Master's degree in counseling, social work, or related field required.
  • Certification as Licensed Clinical Social Worker or Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor preferred.

  • Previous experience working in a school counseling setting required.
  • Minimum of three years of clinical counseling experience with children and families preferred.
  • Classroom teaching experience preferred.
  • Experience working with a wide range of students with diverse backgrounds such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, learning abilities, class, language and nationality.

Technical knowledge or skills:
  • Ability to use standard productivity software (Microsoft Office, calendar/schedule software, etc.) required.

Working Conditions and Physical Requirements
  • Ability to carry or lifts loads of up to 25 lbs.
  • Ability to sit for 4 hours or more
  • Ability to use computers extensively for 4 hours or more
  • Ability to climb stairs up to 2 stories
  • Ability to push/pull objects of up to 25 lbs.
  • Ability to stand for up to 2 hours

Required Documents:
  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Reference contact information

Benefit Eligibility

Pay Frequency

Pay Range
Please refer to Additional Requirement above to see the pay ranges

Scheduled Weekly Hours

000- American Federation of Teachers , Local 2063

Job is Exempt?

Drug Test Required?

Does this position require incumbent to operate a vehicle on the job?

Health Screen Required?

Background Check Required?


Posting Date

Remove from Posting On or Before

Posting Statement:

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

Full time

About Us
The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

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Job No:
Posted: 2/21/2018
Application Due: 4/22/2018
Work Type: