I might have made a bad life decision while in my undergrad. I was really trying to stay out of the family trend of being a teacher and very much had the mindset that life will find it's way to me. So I pursued History and Women's Studies because those classes were my favorites. Then I started grad school--good move or not, I still haven't decided, but very much think I would love teaching and could hopefully help contribute to students' lives. I didn't pursue all this education just to let it sit inside of my head, so...

How to go about it? I've heard so many different things. How do I obtain the certification and take the necessary exams? and...possibly the bigger question--will I ever get a job?

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I did the same thing. My parents were teachers who told me never to be a teacher, so I went to school for something else before I realized that I have to teach. What age group are you wanting to teach? The age you want to teach determines what extra classes and exams you need.
That's so great! My parents actually encouraged it--steady job, enriching, sure you don't get paid much, but you get the summers off! I would prefer high school History or social studies of sorts. Thanks so much for responding!
UNM, among other universities here, have a certification program. One change that happened this year is UNM lost its partnership with APS, my understanding is that means their program doesn't have student teaching built in anymore, but I don't know how that works. I did my program at UNM in elementary education. At UNM you apply to the teacher certification program and major in your interest, in your case secondary education.

The getting your license from the state is somewhat obnoxious. Seeing as you have a major in history you should have no problem getting your history endorsement. First time applicants have to have the credit hours and pass the required exams.

The public ed department website has some good basic info. http://www.ped.state.nm.us/Licensure/index.html Don't bother trying to call, you will have a hard time getting through. I've had better luck through email. There is also an "alternative licensure" avenue you can pursue. For more info on the tests required check out: http://www.nmta.nesinc.com/

If you know any teachers, I would say take time to visit their classrooms, talk to them. Yes, it has its rewards, but there is some change happening (at least at the elementary level, which is where I'm at) that is no fun. I'm leaving teaching after 7 years to go into nursing.

To get your license, complete testings and background check, expect to spend about $300.
Munecamama - that is very interesting news about UNM losing the APS connection. Makes me curious to know more.

And to Krista - well, my story has some similarities to yours, only occuring 20 years ago so lots has changed. I got undergrad degree in Spanish and Art and then went back as post degree to get certified. I chose to go the undergrad route for student teaching cause at that time you had Junior and Senior blocks which offered student teaching at 2 different schools, which I liked. They don't do that anymore.

I was also working on my bilingual endorsement and so it took 2 years to get all of that coursework done. However, I then applied to the Graduate Intern program and proceeded to get masters in Elem. Ed. while teaching my first year. It was great support tho so much work being a first year teacher and going thru a masters program.

Friends here in Burque have gone through another school entirely to get certified - College of Santa Fe's CEC (Career Enrichment ?). Their program is for folks already with another degree. I am not sure if Col of SF still offers it tho since they went through so many changes last year. That program required you to have some major letters of reference and they only accepted a small number each year.

I agree with munecamama that talking with other teachers is a very good first step - what you are doing now. Substitute teaching right now is also a good way to get to know schools. I know recently graduated folks with teaching degrees waiting to get jobs who are subbing.
Thanks for everyone for these replies! My GA contract will be up in about a year--year and a half, so at that time I think I'll try to sub for a bit and look into these programs. Am I totally off base thinking CNM had a certificate program as well? UNM's tuition is a bit much for me (as I've been super lucky in never having to pay it) and am hoping for a Community College to help me out with this. I'll look into the one up in Santa Fe! Thanks again!


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