New Mexico Teacher Certification Requirements

If you want to teach in New Mexico, you'll need to fulfill all certification requirements. This article will look at the most essential steps to complete these requirements.

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To become a teacher in New Mexico, you must first decide which grade level you'd like to teach. Let's take a look at the education and testing requirements needed to become a certified teacher in New Mexico.

Requirements for Teachers in New Mexico

Average Salary for Teachers in New Mexico (2017)* $33,450 (Preschool)
$59,060 (Elementary School)
$54,720 (Middle School)
$56,060 (Secondary School)
Required Degree Bachelor's Degree
Required Field Education
Testing Requirements Essential Academic Skills, Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Elementary or Secondary, Elementary Education Subtests I and II, Essential Components of Elementary Reading Instruction, Content Knowledge

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Education Requirements

All teachers in New Mexico's public schools are required to have a bachelor's degree. The specific program, and its requirements, will depend on the grade level you intend to teach.

Preschool teachers will need to complete a bachelor's degree program in early childhood education that includes 36 semester hours in early childhood education, six semester hours in teaching reading, and a 150-contact-hour practicum.

At the elementary level (kindergarten to eighth grade), candidates must complete a bachelor's program in elementary education that includes 30 semester hours in elementary education, six semester hours in teaching reading, 24 semester hours in a content area (math, language arts, etc.), and a student teaching practicum.

New Mexico's middle level license, which covers grades 5 through 9, requires teachers to complete a bachelor's program that includes 30 semester hours in middle level education, three semester hours in teaching reading, 24 semester hours in a content area, and a student teaching practicum.

The education requirements for secondary school teachers include a bachelor's degree that reflects 24 semester hours in secondary education coursework. They have the same teaching reading, content area, and practicum requirements as middle school teachers.

Step 2: Pass Required Tests

The New Mexico Public Education Department has several National Evaluation Series (NES) tests required for its teachers. Preschool teachers have two test requirements, while elementary teachers have four, and middle and high school teachers have three.

The first exam that all prospective teachers must take is the Essential Academic Skills assessment. This test is made up of three subtests: reading, writing, and math. You must earn 220 or more on this exam for it to be eligible on your application.

Preschool teachers will also need to pass either the Early Childhood Education (Birth-Prekindergarten) or the Early Childhood Education (Age 3-Age 8). Both exams have a minimum passing score of 220.

Elementary school teachers must take the Elementary Education Subtests I and II. You must earn scores of 227 and 228 on subtest I and subtest II respectively. Elementary teachers are also required to complete the Essential Components of Elementary Reading Instruction exam. You must earn 220 on this one as well. The fourth exam elementary school teachers need to pass is the Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Elementary, which requires a minimum passing score of 222.

At the middle level, teachers will need to pass either the Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Elementary with a score of 222 or the Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Secondary with a score of 220. Middle school teachers must also pass the NES content knowledge test that corresponds to their subject (e.g., French, language arts, social science).

Secondary school teachers (grades 7 through 12) also need to pass the appropriate NES content knowledge exam and earn a 220 or higher on the Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Secondary.

Step 3: Clear Background Check

New Mexico requires all teachers to be fingerprinted and to pass a background check prior to employment. There is a $44 fee for the background check, which is required upon registering online.

Certification Resources in New Mexico for Teachers

With so many exam options for prospective New Mexico teacher, it is essential you be prepared for each and every one required. This list of study guides is only a fraction of the options out there for prospective teachers.

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