July 1, 2005
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Jennifer Chavez
Public Information Officer
(505) 476-0393

NM Transition to Teaching Program Seeking Highly Qualified People to Become Teachers

Santa Fe , New Mexico The long days of summer give us more time to reflect. If you are thinking about a career change, and you would like to work with students, consider teaching. Forty-three New Mexico school districts need more teachers by September. Many qualified people who know they could teach certain subjects or grade levels are not aware of the fact that they could become teachers without a traditional teaching licensure program, and can begin teaching while they fulfill the requirements for earning an Alternative Level I Teaching License. NM has worked hard to open up alternative pathways for earning a license to teach in NM. If you have a bachelor’s degree, and want to become a teacher, then you have several choices:

  • You can complete a master’s + licensure program through college or university (i.e. NMSU, UNM, College of Santa Fe, WNMU, NMHU, ENMU, etc),
  • Complete an approved fast-track licensure only program through a college, university or community college, (i.e. NMSU, UNM, College of Santa Fe, WNMU, NMHU, ENMU, Luna Community College, NNMCC, or SFCC (which offers their alternative licensure program online), or
  • Demonstrate to the State that you have already developed the competencies for licensure through the portfolio route.

Once you are in an alternative pathway, you may begin teaching on an intern license while you fulfill the requirements for earning a Level I license.

NM Transition to Teaching is a groundbreaking program to help high quality; motivated people make the transition from their current job or profession right into the classroom by way of the portfolio route. By the year 2007, plans are for the NM Transition to Teaching process to have placed 430 new teachers in high need districts in New Mexico public schools. The goal of the program is ambitious, but


P.2 Transition to Teaching Program
Seeking Highly Qualified Applicants

the milestones are being met. So far, in just 16 months, over 100 sales people, computer techs, engineers, military retirees, and others have made the transition to teaching. And they love their new careers in both elementary and secondary teaching positions throughout NM.

NM Transition to Teaching guides candidates in preparing a portfolio that shows mastery of the competencies required to earn a level I NM teaching license. The program provides funds for intensive workshops as well as the required reading coursework (six hours for elementary and special education candidates, and three hours for those wanting to teach at the secondary level). While completing these basic requirements, the candidate obtains a one to three year internship license and begins teaching, with the help of a coach working with the candidate on their portfolio.

Candidates have to commit to teaching in a high need school district for a minimum of three years. Background checks are completed on all candidates. Finally, they must pass the New Mexico Teacher Assessment Test, which measures subject area expertise and teaching skills.

New Mexico currently has 43 school districts that meet the definition of “high-need.” A high-need district has a least twenty percent of its children living in families with income below the poverty line. These districts also have a high percentage of teachers who are not teaching in the subject area or grade levels of their training, or have emergency, provisional or temporary certification. Also, the district might have a high percentage of empty teaching positions, or high teacher turnover.

Subject areas where there are often not enough teachers in a high need districts include elementary, bilingual, math, science, and special education. The Public Education Department particularly encourages Native American, Hispanic and African American applicants to apply.

NM Transition to Teaching districts include Albuquerque, Alamogordo, Animas, Belen, Bernalillo, Bloomfield, Carlsbad, Central, Clayton, Corona, Cuba, Deming, Des Moines, Dexter, Dulce, Elida, Espanola, Farmington, Gadsden, Gallup-McKinley, Grady, Grants-Cibola, Hatch, Hondo, House, Jemez, Las Cruces, Los Lunas, Loving, Maxwell, Mesa Vista, Mosquero, Pecos, Penasco, Reserve, Roswell, San Jon, Santa Rosa, Silver City, Taos, Vaughn, West Las Vegas, and Zuni.

More information about NM Transition to Teaching can be found by contacting Jesús Reveles (505) 827-3577. t2t@ped.state.nm.us There is more information and an application online at www.teachnm.org