Johanna is easily the best German professor I've ever had. She is an immensely brilliant and kind person who wants nothing more than for her students to learn. She assigns a lot of homework, which I was never too happy about, but she always goes over it in class the next day. I was lucky enough to have a very small class (about 8 people or less) so everyone always had an opportunity to talk (even though it was an 8:40am class which I don't think anyone was too enthusiastic about), but Johanna fostered a very comfortable environment where making mistakes was ok. She made it a point to write on the board a lot, which was helpful and allowed for her corrections to turn into more meaningful lessons than just calling someone out. Johanna is also a very opinionated (but understanding) intellectual. She expects a lot from her students in terms of content for the essays and discussions, but at the same time does not expect graduate level vocabulary. The course has a very heavy emphasis on German culture. We watched two movies, looked at art, and read a short play. We also took a trip to the Met on a Friday which was enjoyable, but all the discussion was in German. The final project was to create a short comic book, changing the end of the play we read. Overall, it was definitely one of the more challenging German classes I've taken simply because it was not just about memorizing vocab, but actually THINKING in German. This made the experience that much more rewarding and Johanna is definitely the reason for that.
Brook was a great teacher. He was laid back, enthusiastic, and made every effort to make the sometimes dry Intermediate II curriculum interesting. He assigned more work than any other German instructor I've had (a lot of it was busy work, though) and was the toughest grader I've had in a German class (though he was fair). He also gave us a couple of quizzes, which was surprising given that I had none in Intermediate German I. Overall, I'd recommend him as an instructor.
I don't think Jutta necessarily merits a silver nugget. She can be oddly funny at times and, yes, she's an easy grader, but these qualities do not an excellent class make. All too often she was indulgent of idiotic sideshows performed by hooligan freshmen, as well as stupid and inane comments often emerging from the same pathetic peanut gallery. Other long and torturous periods of the class consisted of her staring oddly at individual students in a haunting and frankly disconcerting way. Far too much of this class was spent on goofiness rather than actual learning, and while that might work for some who enjoy throwing away their tuition money, for those who wanted to actually improve their German (and mine as well as several others' actually backslided over the course of the semester), this amounted to a mediocre class at best, and a serious waste of time at worst. Recommended only for those who would prefer to be in kindergarten rather than college.
Gerrit is amazing! He is funny, brilliant, empathetic - everything you'd want in a teacher. He has standards, but if you are late once in a while or have to hand in a late homework, he doesn't make you feel like you're evil. His class is simply enjoyable and one in which I learned a lot. On a personal note, Gerrit is adorable. I have a ridiculous crush on him - his wit, sense of humor are more than I can stand. Definitely an added bonus!
Prefoessor Motyl is absolutely the best teacher you can have in a language as obscure as German. She is very responsive to questions, spends a LOT of time explaining grammar until everyone in the class understands it. Plus her class is a lot of fun, includes visits to the Metropolitan Museum, the New York City Opera, as well as watching two interesting films related to the material discussed in class. Her class is well-organized, and most important -- EASY. You'll get an A even if you can't say a single sentence in German without making a grammatical error or forgetting the right word. Quizzes are really easy. The only thing Professor Motyl is particular about is vocabulary; and not so much knowing the words, as taking the time to look them up in the dictionary and writing them down in your notebook. I absolutely recommend her.