Jutta Schmiers-Heller

This professor has earned a CULPA gold nugget

May 2021

I really love her teaching! TBH her class pace in the beginning is a bit too fast. It's a little overwhelming, but as long as you did what she asked for, you are fine. It's an A for sure. All her assignments are clear and straightforward. There's no way that you are confused or don't know how to do the assignments. She's also very very very nice. She cares about students, understanding students' internet issues, family issues, or whatever proper reason not attending the session. Just email her and explain. She's super chill.

Apr 2021

Jutta is an absolutely phenomenal professor. I've always had a hard time learning new languages, but nonetheless, had to take this class to fill a requirement. However, Jutta made the class very lovable. She always cared for every student and was always super understanding. Due to COVID and the semester online, she was very understanding and never gave us very formal assessments (aka timed/graded quizzes or tests.) We had quite a few essays and projects, but you get a revision and can therefore quite easily get A+ on them. She made German fun and interesting, I 100% recommend it!

Dec 2020

I took this for lang requirement but this unexpectedly became my fun class for the semester. I really look forward to her classes. She's very energetic, engaging, patient, and knowledgeable about the German language. Because she's German, she's the go-to expert on what daily life German application would be like. Her classes are very structured with group work every class to give you more opportunities to speak. She speaks to us in German most of the time but even though I was a total beginner, I could somehow understand her or catch keywords here and there. She cultivates a very open and friendly language learning environment which is very important if you're a new speaker and understandably a bit unsure of your German. Her ability to create a lively VIRTUAL class atmosphere is a testament to her passion to engage students and genuine desire to see her students improve. Highly recommended!

Dec 2020

Jutta is the best German professor I have ever had. She is the kindest, sweetest, and most understanding professor I have met and does everything in her power to help students. I am so glad I took this course. Detlef Otto comes every once in a while and does a little presentation for us and the workload is absolutely manageable. Jutta is a fast speaker, but otherwise, I really enjoyed the class.

Oct 2020

Jutta is a great introductory German teacher. She answers every question without ridiculing and prompts participation from all students. She is also extremely knowledgeable (native to Germany). She also shares fun little tidbits about her life in Germany and is very caring about her students (ex. celebrates every class birthday). The class is very enjoyable and not too hard at all. Assignments, even larger ones like projects are not hard and are explained in great detail. Jutta also gives very thorough corrections even on the smallest homework exercises.

Sep 2016

Jutta is the love of my life. As a foreign language learner, who has had his fair share of foreign language teachers, she is by far the best I have ever had. She is not only incredibly knowledgeable about German, but is amazing at teaching you it. She does not correct every mistake you make in order to foster a desire to speak, while making sure you are remembering key grammar points. She has convinced me to seek a concentration in German. She prepares you very well for all of the tests and is a generous grader. The regular and constant structure of the course is not only very German, but very nice because you always know what happens.

Jul 2014

Firstly the accelerated Beginners German I & II was amazing. In five weeks Jutta was able to present all of the information in an intelligible and structured manner that facilitated an excellent learning environment. Her class was laborious and enjoyable. Because of the abbreviated time frame the work load was strenuous to say the least. We had roughly 2/1 homework to class time ratio, however the in class experience made the nightly work far easier and manageable. I highly suggest Jutta as a professor, as she is open, fun and more than willing to go the extra mile to assist in and out of class. Wonderful professor and educator!

Dec 2011

The atmosphere Jutta provided was ideal for learning languages; relaxed and comfortable rather than stressful and awkward. The class is fast paced, covers a LOT of information, and has a significant amount of work. You need to be both self motivated, and willing to devote time to this class in order to do well. The class started out with about 20 or so people, but we were left with about 8 after shopping ended. Because of the small class size, and seeing each other 4 days of the week, we developed an interesting family dynamic with Jutta as our captain. Class was always fun, interesting, and worth it. Time was broken up well, and class rarely seemed to drag (good when you're in the room for over 2 hours). Be ready to not only sit in your chairs class-room style, but stand up, interact with students, do extensive talking, show your creativity, and learn how to use German in your day-to-day activities. Although we did learn what was in the book, Jutta didn't limit herself to it, which expanded knowledge about German culture. We followed a film series in the class, which is a real laugh, and a fun way to improve listening skills. At the end of the year, we review by watching a German film (no subtitles!) In short: the class is very fun, and Jutta is an excellent teacher.

Dec 2010

Even if you have a moderate interest in German, I highly recommend taking this course. Jutta made me so passionate about learning German and this course was really the highlight of my semester. From day one Jutta speaks exclusively in German. She exposed us not only to the German language, but brought in German music and cultural activities. The class meets for two hours, four days a week, which can be a lot. Jutta broke up the time well, bringing us to the Language Resource Center, and bringing diverse activities to class. Jutta is an extremely practical professor. She understands if you have too much work for other classes and need to hand in an assignment at a later date. She is not very flexible about exams or quizzes though, which is fair. Jutta clearly outlines the requirements for the course, and she definitely does not overload you with work, but you still learn Deutsch. You get out of this class what you put into it, and Jutta NEVER hold you back from learning as much as you can. Not only is Jutta an extremely gifted professor, but she is a fantastic person. She has a unique and wonderful sense of humor. I don't think there was one day this semester that I didn't laugh at her jokes. I cannot wait to take another course with Jutta.

Dec 2010

Jutta is phenomenal - both as a person and as a professor. She has a wonderful sense of humor, is genuinely kind and understanding, and is an outstanding professor. I learned so much from her class, and she has made me fall in love with German. She creates so many interactive and fun activities to help you learn, and she brings her crazy humor to the written assignments in the best possible way. Going to class wasn't just enjoyable, it was always the highlight of the academic part of my day. An 8 credit class can seem a bit daunting to handle, yet she makes it very doable. She isn't intimidating at all and works with you to make sure you get all of the work done. The homework load is very light, especially for a course worth this many credits. However, you will really only get out of this class what you put into it. You can get away with doing very little work and you'll probably still do pretty well. If you really want to learn German, though, it makes sense that you should work with the grammar and vocab every day. I highly recommend taking this class. Even if you go into it with just a moderate interest in German, you'll come out of it with a deep appreciation for the language and a desire to learn more. This class was one of the best things about my first semester at Columbia. I truly can't speak highly enough of Jutta or of this class.

Aug 2009

Two semesters in one. It is a lot, but it is also wonderful. The intensity of the accelerated course (8 points) really lets you get to know your classmates. Jutta is very good at getting students to interact. She is full of energy, though sometimes I think that her having a little child makes her treat us kind of like children learning a language. This isn't so bad. We got to use crayons (colors = Farben) one and we did a treasure hunt (directions: recht, links, gerade). Her methodology varies, and you can tell that she is making an effort to accomodate the various learning methods of her students. Warning for people who aren't usually on time: ALWAYS be on time. I know the punctual(pünktlich!)-German a stereotype, but it holds true for Jutta. Late homework is not accepted. Go to every class. If you do not consistently follow these guidelines, your grade will be marked down. There is some 5 minute rule, where every 5 minutes has a consequence, but I forget what. Anyhow, you will adjust if you're into the class. It is a lot of fun and it will make you love German.

Dec 2006

Let me start off with the largest downside to her class: although the material and basis is provided for you to learn a lot, if you're not self-motivated, you probably won't learn as much as you'd learn in a more demanding and stressful environment. That said, it is precisely Jutta's approach that makes her so worthwhile. I could come into class having the worst of days, and with a scowl tattooed on my face. And goddamn it, her humor might be more 3 Stooges than Dennis Miller, but she almost invariably lightens the mood of the class and accomplishes the primarily critical task of making class enjoyable. Some people in the class complained she didn't teach enough grammar and there wasn't enough formal teaching. That is true, but I believe there is a larger intent to structure the class based around working a lot with other students and practicing your German instead of being lectured about it. She isn't loosey-goosey about deadlines and punctuality. She will take off points if you willy-nilly choose to be late or not hand in assignments. But if you approach her beforehand, she's very understanding and knows that there is more going on in your life than German class. She borders the line between sufficiently authoritative instructor and compassionate, light-hearted human being quite well. She's quite accessible both in person and electronically.

Sep 2006

Incomparable! From the first day onwards, Jutta speaks only German in the classroom but manages to make students who do not know the language understand everything she says. She is understanding, amiable, and overall HILARIOUS! Should a student need anything from her (extension, excused absence, etc.), just approach Jutta, and she will be more than happy to oblige. She makes students want to attend the class. Whilst there is nightly homework, it is never too much, nor are the tests and quizzes exceptionally difficult---namely because Jutta excels in teaching everything that needs to be learnt for the chapter. Highly, highly, highly recommened. She is phenomenal; few language professors can compare. Most of all: her sense of humour is bloody brilliant; go to class just for the jokes.

Jan 2006

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.

Jan 2005

OMG! A professor with a sense of humor! How few and far between. Jutta is very warm and lively and quite funny. It was a joy to be in her German class. I'll concede that some of the subjects discussed in the first half of the semester were a bit, um, dull, but the second half took off, and I enjoyed myself. It truly was an excellent class, and Jutta was a very fun, amazing teacher. I definitely recommend it.

Dec 2004

Jutta is excellent. Warm, affable, and understanding. She is a native speaker, so her German is flawless (unlike some TA's). You won't find better in the department.

Mar 2004

Jutta is wonderful! She has a great sense of humor and is very patient. She really got us to speak a lot of German in class and we even watched a Marlene Dietrich film. I found her explanations helpful... overall, I enjoyed the class!

Aug 2003

I've spent 6 years taking german classes, and the highest marks I've gotten have been B's, coupled with C's and D's. Jutta's class was the last one I had to take for my requirement, and I was relieved to finnaly find a German teacher with a heart. I got an A- in this class. She understood when I had to miss class for a job interview, when i was sick, let me make up missed assignments when i had sports conflicts, and conducted a great class. Highly recommended!!

Dec 2002

Jutta is a really nice and funny professor. I learned a lot in her class. We learned some random things about German culture, such as the Green Party, the Comedian Harmonists, the Berlin Wall, etc. Overall an interesting and very relaxing class. One should definitely take her class if given the chance.