According to 2012 data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, New Mexico hires fewer literacy teachers than the national average. However, it is slightly above average in its rate of TESOL employment when compared to its population size. Where New Mexico really trails behind is its rate of pay, ranking among the lowest in the country for literacy education with an annual mean wage of $36,900. Next door, in Texas, the annual mean wage is almost $6,000 higher while, way to the west in California, comparable jobs garner annual wages that are among the highest in the country at $66,380. In general, while there is a need for qualified TESOL educators in New Mexico, it can be challenging to find employment, especially positions that pay competitively.
New Mexico’s ESL Teaching Outlook
The National Clearinghouse for English Acquisition (NCELA) found that New Mexico has 60,600 K-12 students categorized as ELLs as of 2008. However, unlike most of the other states in the country, this number is actually less than in the prior decade. The number of immigrant students dropped 15 percent during that time.
However, New Mexico is still a high-demand area for teaching, including delivery to ELLs and bilingual students. A 2010 article reported future teacher shortages in some of the country’s most rural and impoverished areas. Over one third of New Mexico’s schools are located in rural areas, many of which also have very low incomes. A significant proportion of the population in these under-served areas have immigrant backgrounds, creating a strong need for qualified ESL, bilingual, and multicultural educators. The top five languages spoken in New Mexico, after English, are Spanish, Navajo, Zuni, Vietnamese, and other native American languages.
New Mexico Teacher Job Boards
- NMREAP connects human resources departments at New Mexico’s public, private, and charter schools with qualified educators. Candidates can create online profiles, apply for openings online, or browse current educator, support services, and administrator listings.
- Albuquerque Public Schools (APS), representing the state’s largest school district and serving over one-third of New Mexico’s school age population, maintains a Jobs site for its public and charter schools.
- The Bureau of Indian Education posts state-by-state listings, with many options for educators in New Mexico.
Key ESL Teacher Resources in New Mexico
- New Mexico Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (NMTESOL) maintains a newsletter and organizes events and conferences as a regional affiliate of the international TESOL group.
- New Mexico Association for Bilingual Education (NMABE) advocates on behalf of the state’s bilingual, Spanish-speaking, ESL, and multicultural students, their teachers, and programming.
- The New Mexico Coalition for Literacy supports statewide literacy programming with funding, technical support, and training.
- People who intend to work in the New Mexico public school system in a designated teacher shortage area can take advantage of the Teacher Loan-for-Service program described on the New Mexico Higher Education Department website.