How to Become a Preschool Teacher in New Mexico

Jul 06, 2020

The number of teachers in New Mexico has dropped over the last few school years, so the state needs to fill many teaching positions. Anyone interested in becoming a preschool teacher in New Mexico can pursue their degree and fulfill the testing requirements needed to get licensed.

New Mexico Salary Information and Requirements

Average Salary for Preschool Teachers in New Mexico (2019)* $33,160
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Early Childhood Education
Testing Requirements Essential Academic Skills (Subjects I, II, and III), NES Early Childhood Education

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree in New Mexico

If you want to become a preschool teacher in New Mexico, the first step is to attend an approved, accredited teacher preparation program. There are several different programs in the state that provide early childhood education and teacher preparation programs. Each program will feature different coursework, but most will include classes like:

  • Child Growth, Development, and Learning
  • Health, Safety, and Nutrition
  • Principles of Caring for Preschool Children
  • Administration of Programs for Young Children

As part of the teacher preparation program, students will complete a student teaching practicum through which they will hone their classroom management and teaching skills in a real-world environment.

Step 2: Pass All Required Tests

Next, teachers will need to take the New Mexico Teacher Assessments (NMTA). Teachers will need to take the Essential Academic Skills (Subjects I, II, and III) and the NES Early Childhood Education exam. The Essential Academic Skills exam is made up of three subtests: reading, writing, and mathematics. The reading subtest has 45 multiple-choice questions, the writing subtest has 36 multiple-choice questions and one written assignment, and the math subtest consists of 45 multiple-choice questions. Together, these tests are three hours and 15 minutes long and cost $100. A score of 220 or higher is required to pass.

Early Childhood Education (Birth-Prekindergarten) is a 80-question test made up of multiple-choice questions. It is one hour and 45 minutes long and requires a score of 220. It is $95 and fits with national learning standards.

Step 3: Complete the Certification Application

Once their education is complete and required exams have been passed, applicants will submit their fingerprints to complete a background check. After that, it's time to fill out and submit the certification application form available on the New Mexico Public Education Department website. When this process is complete, teachers will be ready to instruct preschool students in New Mexico.

Study Resources for Future New Mexico Preschool Teachers

There are lots of resources for students looking to start studying for the licensure exams. Check out the study guides below to get a feel for test content and study strategies.

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