Alternative Teacher Certification in New Mexico

Here we'll take a look at the steps required for those who want to seek alternative teacher licensing in New Mexico. Be sure to check out salary and education stats as well.

Below we'll look at the two primary alternative methods to become a teacher in New Mexico. With high school teachers expected to grow by eight percent and elementary school teachers projected to grow by seven percent nationally by 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, now may be a good time to consider teaching as an occupation.

Requirements for Alternative Teachers in New Mexico

Average Salary for Teachers in New Mexico* $58,660 (Kindergarten), $58,090 (Elementary School), $54,730 (Middle School), $53,920 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's Degree OR Master's Degree
Required Field Any
Testing Requirements Essential Academic Skills (001, 002, 003)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2016)

Alternative - NMTEACH

There are two main ways you can earn certification as a teacher while not following the traditional path. The first option is the NMTEACH program, which is a nonrenewable license for those who are trying to complete the teacher exam requirements to become certified. If you have a bachelor's degree in almost any major and would like to teach, you can seek out the NMTEACH licensure. In this path, teachers are given two years to teach at a school while being mentored and assessed. Using the mentor Educator Effectiveness system, you'll be assessed in four areas: support provided to students, how well students do in the classroom, quality of instruction, and professionalism.

Along with the assessment, you must include sealed transcripts, a letter of interest for the alternative path, and a letter from the school district supporting you with your application and fee. You must also show proof of registration reading education courses and the Essential Academic Skills (Subtests I, II, and III) exam. You will need to complete these courses and the exam(s) prior to licensure. The Essential Academic Skills test is one of the NES tests. It is made up of three subtests. Subtest I is on reading, and you have an hour to complete 45 multiple-choice questions. Subtest II is on writing, and you're given 36 multiple-choice questions and an essay to complete in 75 minutes. Finally, subtest III is on math, and you'll have an hour for 45 multiple-choice questions. You must earn a score of 220 or higher for this test to count toward licensure.

Alternative Postsecondary Experience

The second option for alternative licensure is for those who have taught in postsecondary environments but do not have an education-focused degree. Often, professors have graduate degrees in the subject in which they teach, and not education, which is typically needed for teachers of grades K-12. For this reason, these teachers clearly have background knowledge for working in a classroom and teaching pedagogy, but not the education requirement to back it up. This 1-year, nonrenewable license gives you the chance to fulfill requirements without having to go for a bachelor's degree in education.

To earn this certification, you must include the official transcripts from your graduate degree programs. You'll also need to verify that you worked at a university or college for five or more years. You will then complete a full year (160 school days) as an interning teacher at the school district in which you'd like to teach. After this has been completed, no exams are necessary, but a letter of satisfaction from your superintendent is required.

Certification Resources in New Mexico for Teachers Seeking Alternative Certification

Only one of the above paths requires you to take exams to become a teacher. It is a good idea to have a few study guides available to you to help you study for said exams.


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