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How to Become a Substitute Teacher in New Mexico

Substitute teachers are important assets for schools. They step in when teachers are sick or have family emergencies, and they can help students relate to material from a different perspective. In this article, we'll look at the New Mexico requirements for substitute teachers.

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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are around 3,500 licensed substitute teachers in New Mexico. If you want to be one of those substitute teachers who help fill in for traditionally licensed teachers, or if you want to gain classroom experience while you continue your education, look at the following steps to get substitute teacher licensure in New Mexico.

Requirements for Substitute Teachers in New Mexico

Average Salary for Substitute Teachers in New Mexico* $24,660
Required Degree High School
Degree Field Any
Testing Requirements None

Source: *Bureau of Labor Statistics (2017)

Step 1: Complete Schooling Requirements

Schooling requirements to become a substitute teacher are fairly simple. You must be 18 years or older to teach, and you must have earned your high school diploma or GED. If you know that you would like to become a teacher or substitute teacher while still in high school, consider talking with your teachers about the New Mexico licensing requirements they undertook. If you have a bachelor's degree in education, you'll be well educated in the pedagogy and content knowledge needed to teach. Earning a substitute teacher license could be one way to get classroom experience while earning your degree. This license could be a stepping stone to an initial license.

Step 2: Complete an Application

The application asks for basic info about you and includes several personal questions, which mainly try to determine your criminal background and previous teaching experience. You'll also need to include a $35 processing fee.

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Step 3: Submit a Superintendent Verification Form

As part of the application, you'll also need to get a superintendent statement on the school district's letterhead. It will ask whether you meet the age and education requirements, as well as your teaching background. There are two groups (A and B) that your experience can come from. You must have two from Group A or one from Group B. Examples of items your superintendent can choose from in Group A, include on-the-job training, classroom observation, work experience, at least 60 hours of college credit, or a substitute teacher workshop. Group B asks if you currently have teaching licensure with another state or have completed a teacher preparation program.

Step 4: Pass a Background Check

In New Mexico, everyone who works with children in a school setting must be fingerprinted and have a background check run on them. The cost for this check is $44. If you are from out of state, this process could take 12 weeks or longer.

Certification Resource in New Mexico for Substitute Teachers

Though no exams are required to become a substitute teacher, there are times where you may want to take one of the NES exams, such as if you plan to become a licensed teacher. This link provides several study guides for the various NES exams that New Mexico teachers may take.

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