Faces of CNM: Michael Beckner
Michael has gained a plethora of practical teaching knowledge through CNM's ATL Program.

Faces of CNM: Michael Beckner

As a student teacher in CNM’s Alternative Teacher Licensure Program, Michael hopes to apply his passion for teaching to a new generation of learners.
March 07, 2019

It’s well documented that New Mexico has a high need for well-trained, qualified educators to fill teacher positions and prepare our youth for bright futures. Michael Beckner has joined the cause and is on the path to help address that pivotal need.

Michael is currently enrolled in CNM’s Alternative Teacher Licensure Certificate Program offered through the School of Communications, Humanities & Social Sciences. The program is a state-accredited post-baccalaureate program for obtaining a New Mexico Level 1 teaching license, which most complete in four semesters. This means that anyone with a bachelor’s degree can apply to the program and quickly get hands-on experience in a real classroom setting.

“I chose the ATL program because I already had a bachelor’s degree in English from UNM and I was looking for other opportunities to enter this profession,” says Michael. “I really enjoy that the ATL program has a focus on practical learning and field experience.”

Michael started student teaching at Eldorado High School in northeast Albuquerque at the beginning of the current Spring Term. He says an advantage to the ATL program is being able to learn from a seasoned educator.

“It’s been great. I have a really good, cooperating teacher,” says Michael. “She’s been great at providing a lot of guidance while also letting me hone my own teaching style.”

Michael says that the teaching community in New Mexico has faced many challenges over the years. But he feels that CNM’s ATL program offers a refreshing, more innovative approach to its pedagogy that can help advance the teaching profession.

“The ATL program is really good about using some of the more modern teaching techniques,” says Michael. “It’s very competency based in that you have to show that you can do the work in the field. It’s not just about theory and abstract ideas, but about actual field work.”


Working directly with students has taught Michael the value of individualized learning and that not all students learn at the same rate.

“We read a lot of articles and textbooks about working with students, but every student is vastly different, every day is vastly different, and I’ve learned how to adapt and be flexible in that regard,” says Michael.

Director of Education Programs Catron Allred says that CNM’s ATL students are getting invaluable, hands-on experience that will benefit them in many ways.

“Our students are getting to experience what it’s like to teach in the real world,” says Catron. “Gaining that practical knowledge and experience will give them a competitive edge when they meet with potential employers.”

Michael has a keen interest in teaching English and History. He values the knowledge that he has gained throughout his years in school and wants to transfer it to a new generation of learners.

“I’d really like to be able to express the human condition and teach children about how we can learn things from the past and from exploring our own experiences in order to better ourselves,” he says.

After completing the ATL Program, Michael will apply to receive his Level 1 teaching license and will be able to teach professionally as soon as this fall.

Learn more about CNM’s Alternative Teacher Licensure Program.