Meet Your NILA Board: Secretary Dr. Jonathan Dettman

Dr. Jonathan Dettman, NILA Secretary

Dr Jonathan Dettman, Secretary
Associate Professor of Spanish,
University of Nebraska Kearney

What was your motivation to become a language teacher?
My experience as a college student was very positive and personally transformative. A big part of that was learning languages. I had a great deal of admiration for the teachers who had been my intellectual guides, and when I finished college, I contemplated becoming a Spanish teacher. I ended up taking the long route to teaching (through graduate school), but I think post-secondary education is a very good fit for me.
Describe your classroom approach in five words or less.
“I bet you didn’t know…”
How do you feel Nebraska is raising the standards for world language education?
Both NILA and NDE are very conscientious about staying informed about best practices and promoting them throughout the state. Since arriving in Nebraska in 2013, I’ve been impressed by the overall level of professionalism and commitment to teacher education.
What would you recommend to educators to build their pedagogy and practice?
Take time for professional development, even if that means organizing workshops and idea sessions for your colleagues–maybe you’re the teacher you’re looking for.