Hiring Our New Guidance Counsellor: Linden's Senior Students Participate in Interviews
Closing out 2020, The Linden School was searching to find a new guidance counsellor who could help Linden’s community come to terms with some of the harsh realities the world continues to face. With an emphasis on inclusion and diversity, a thorough hiring process allows Linden to search for the brightest and best mission-aligned professionals.
Our leadership team quickly realized that this process required multiple perspectives. Each individual at Linden is a valued member of our community. Our students are endlessly encouraged to explore their own minds and voice their opinions. As we make decisions that affect the lives of our community, our faculty often turns to students for their insights and opinions or to gather fresh ideas. Without hesitation, Interim Principal Nasrin Matini decided to include three high school students in the hiring process.
From Grades 10 and 11, Julia, Maya, and Carly all sat in on the second round of interviews to act as ambassadors for the students’ voice. The three took their responsibility very seriously, understanding that a guidance counsellor must be able to connect with every student in the school. “A great amount of care was put into this, from both staff and students,” explains Grade 10 student Julia Smeaton. “It was enriching to collaborate with my peers during and after the interviews, and I felt as though my words and opinions were valued by the students and teachers when I spoke.”
The students went into this endeavour thinking not only of their peers, but also of the younger grades, keeping in mind the countless connections that the new guidance counsellor would need to make with each student. Through inquiries about mitigating interpersonal relationships, and the long term effects of the ongoing pandemic, the interviewers were mindful of the many needs and perspectives within our community. Julia, Maya, and Carly used this opportunity to amplify the voices of Linden’s current and future students through meaningful conversations with each candidate.
“It was certainly a unique experience to be interviewed by students,” explains Sam Layton, who eventually landed the role. “They had thoughtful questions and were very professional. It was evident that they took their responsibility seriously and it was wonderful to get a glimpse into what the students highlighted as key elements in order for them to receive the kind of ongoing support they are looking for.”
Sam believes in offering an open, safe and fun educational space for all students to grow and evolve as independent learners. Sam has quickly fostered relationships with students and staff alike. To learn more about Sam, please visit the Faculty & Staff page on our website.
What a guidance counsellor does for the school
A guidance counsellor in a private school is a person who works with the administration and faculty to bring emotional, social and educational support to the students. A strong guidance counsellor will get to know the students and become familiar with the intricate social circles within the school. There are few aspects of the student’s lives that a guidance counsellor can’t help with. Between university offers a guidance counsellor is a third-party listener who is equipped with the proper tools to handle whatever a student may throw at them.