Working in education should be an attractive career choice whether you are a new graduate, starting a second career, or seeking to serve in another role in our schools, colleges, or universities.
New Mexico’s Colleges of Education must do more to address the on-going crisis in our education field. Cohorts of students wanting to enter the profession of education are nearly empty, and this directly impacts the quality of instruction for our students.
We can make careers in education more attractive with investments in scholarships, residency programs, and student loan forgiveness. We must also expand our mentoring to support 2ndand 3rd year educators who are still learning their profession.
New Mexico must continue to invest in programs like the already successful “Grow Your Own Teachers” scholarship, which assists classified school employees in pursuing their teaching license and has been shown to recruit more diverse educators who are already working in our schools to fill teaching vacancies. Additionally, educators who follow this pathway into the classroom are invested, established community members who are more likely to stay in the classroom than an out-of-state hire.
New Mexico should work to ensure transportation professionals are treated fairly across New Mexico’s districts, whether they are district employees or contracted workers. No employee of a public school in New Mexico should be deprived of health care, sick leave, or a dignified retirement simply because they are a contracted worker.
New Mexico higher education institutions must address the alarming trend in New Mexico of over-reliance on adjunct faculty class instruction by providing these hard-working educators a path to more permanent employment.
Recruitment is tied to respect—when we are respected, more educators will join us.