Teaching

LECTURER OF GERMAN

I have 13+ years of experience teaching adult learners of diverse abilities and access needs. My pedagogy is student-centered, trauma-informed, and shaped by many years of curriculum development for individualized education as well as feminist pedagogies that value de-hierarchizing the classroom. My practice is particularly inspired by Dr. Eugenia Zuroski’s “Where do you know from” exercise, which aims to create “productive spaces for thinking together across difference” and establish “mutual responsibility to respect the complexities of how we relate to one another as we learn with and from each other.”

Dept. of Modern Languages, University of Colorado Denver, 2019 – Present
Anderson Language and Technology Center (ALTEC), 2020 – Present
International College Beijing, Summer 2021
Center for World Languages and Cultures, University of Denver, 2020 –2021

German Sign

PEDAGOGICAL APPROACH

EXAMPLE SYLLABI

EXAMPLE PROJECTS

Mein Identitätsdiagramm

During their first semester of German, students compose a series of short essays about themselves to create an online blog. They are guided through the process by the Impuls Deutsch interactive curriculum. For their first blog entry, students create an Identitätsdiagramm along with a short introduction of themselves. This activity aims to help learners reflect deeper on who they are and their position within society and various institutional structures. This part of their blog project is inspired by Magna Taranawska Senel’s article “Social Justice in the Language Curriculum: Interrogating the Goals and Outcomes of Language Education in College,” in Diversity and Decolonization in German Studies, Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2020: 63–81.

Chapter Projects

At the end of each chapter in my second-semester German-language course, students demonstrate their understanding of the grammar and culture content they learn in Impuls Deutsch. The chapter projects replace more traditional assessments, and give students the opportunity to engage with each other creatively and collaboratively. These projects also invite students to connect their language skills with real-world contemporary communication scenarios. Chapter 6, for example, uses the theme of childhood, toys, and fairy tales to introduce students to the Präteritum and Perfekt forms. Discussions of childhood experiences also introduce some of the history of the DDR and postwar labor immigration (i.e. das Anwerbeankommen zwischen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland und der Türkei). For their chapter project, students are assigned to explore the online collection of toys at the DDR Museum website and together organize a Spielzeugemesse curated on Instagram.

Discovery Project

In the Current German Culture and Society course, students do a self-directed Discovery Project. They choose a topic they find interesting and would like to learn more about. The project is completed in several stages, which helps guide undergraduate students through the process of doing research: choose a topic, collect sources, write an annotated bibliography, compose an outline, compose written findings, deliver a spoken or creative presentation of the project.

Art Gallery Simulation

This activity was used for our annual German Day, which is designed for local high school students. Students visit campus for a full-day immersion experience, participating in various German-language and cultural activities. For the Art Gallery Simulation, students are welcomed to a “gallery” and given a “press pass.” Gallery attendants explain to the students that they are attending as journalists from Austrian, German, and Swiss media sources. The journalists are then invited to walk around, view, and discuss the artwork. After several minutes, it is announced that a new work is about to be revealed and that Gustav Klimt himself will speak about the piece before its unveiling. After the work is unveiled, students take notes and compose a short gallery report (with instructor/gallery attendant support).

German School Exhibition

In summer 2017, I served as guest curator for the Middlebury German School in Vermont. Through collaboration with director Dr. Bettina Matthias, German school faculty, and colleagues at the Middlebury Davis Family Library Special Collections, I developed a school-wide exhibition. Luther: eine Nachschau (Luther: A Look Back), is a modern, critical interpretation of Martin Luther and the Reformation for the 500-year anniversary created by and for the language students. They learned about and researched various aspects of Luther’s life. Each class focused on a specific theme appropriate to their proficiency level. These included Luther’s biography, his contribution to the German language and theology, or what daily life was like in the 16th century. Graduate students did close readings and transcriptions of some of the library’s holdings connected to the topic. The exhibition, which opened the last week of the summer semester for the university and local community, presented the students’ research and creative, multimedia interpretations. It was certainly a huge undertaking for all, and a successful experiment in a theme-based semester of culture and language learning! Please make a visit to the archived exhibit. I hope it inspires!

EXAMPLES OF STUDENT WORK

Green Energy: How Germany is leading the world in clean, renewable energy
by Neil Trotter

In this project, we will look at what can be considered a renewable energy source, what Germany’s energy economy looks like, and what public and political image it has. A way to help understand what Germany’s energy situation is like is to compare it to the US energy infrastructure and the US’s public and political image of renewable energy.

Art in East Germany: An Examination of the Art and Artists of East Germany and Their Response to German Reunification
by Kathryn Goettelman

In this presentation, we will explore the evolving artists and art created during the existence of East Germany and the Cold War. The beginning of the presentation will focus on the Zero Hour and how Eastern and Western German perspectives started to develop. We will explore and dive into art made in East Germany during the Cold War, important East German artists, and the cultural impact that these artists had on East Germany. Finally, we will examine these artists’ work and relations following reunification.

Erinnerungskultur and “The Reader”: An Examination of the Culture of Remembrance and German Cinema
by Taylor Neumann

In this project I will examine what “Erinnerungskultur” means in Germany and how it’s been brought to prevalence through German cinema. First, I will give an explanation on what Erinnerungskultur is. Then, I will give a brief history of how German films over time have helped shape the Culture of Remembrance. Finally, I will examine “The Reader” and how aspects of the film can be used to discuss Nazism and the effects Nazi allegations had on loved ones.

Germany’s Nature Spaces: A Guide to Germany’s National Parks, Natural Heritage Areas and Nature Monuments
by Natalie Misasi

In this project, we will take a tour through a few of Germany’s nature spaces. This will include a handful of National Parks, Natural Heritage Areas as well as Nature Monuments. We will discuss what is required for an area to be designated into each of these groups as well as what activities are available for explorers. We will also compare America’s Park System to Germany’s to help understand the designations.

Ein Marketingkonzept

For this project, second-semester German students demonstrate their understanding of the grammar and cultural content they learned in Chapter 5 of Impuls Deutsch. This chapter explores the themes of consumer behavior, packaging and recycling, and introduces students to European colonial trade and neocolonialism. The chapter project replaces more traditional assessments and gives students the opportunity to engage with each other creatively and collaboratively. It also invites them to connect their language skills with real-world contemporary communication scenarios. For their project, students work with a partner to create a marketing concept for a product in a package-free shop. They then present their concept and poster to the class. 

Zahnfees Tabs Poster

Student Memes

See my workshop on how to use memes in the language classroom here.

Meme Set 1
Meme Set 2

STUDENT FEEDBACK

Spring 2022 (Beginning German & Current German Culture & Society)

“Maggie is an amazing instructor! She truly creates a safe and comfortable learning environment for her students. The assignments covered so many topics about Germany, I feel like the knowledge I gained is indispensable! I loved the format of the assignments and that she took the effort to customize parts of the course to allow for our interests to be involved. I also really liked prerecording our presentations it allowed for a better understanding of time limit and took the nerves out of the presentation. She really went out of her way to make this class amazing. In my four years of college she is the best professor I’ve ever had. I truly enjoyed this professor and this course.”

“I really appreciated how Maggie kept the topics current and informative. Yes, it was about learning the German language but it was also about exploring the German culture, which I found interesting.”

“The instructor is fantastic. She is kind, caring, understanding, supportive, and genuinely loves the German language and culture inspiring the same love in her students.”

“One of the most professional, personable, and knowledgeable teachers I have had in quite some time. I considered finding another class from the teacher to continue my knowledge with her. The teacher challenges students in an effective way and harbors the foundations to make a comfortable classroom. There were times throughout the year, where life was not the best for me. I was excited on T/R because I would be able to escape to my German class for a few hours. It was always a good time, whether the talks were serious, fun, or interesting. I definitely stand by all the ‘very effective’ and ‘completely agree’ statements that were marked in the previous categories.”

“This was my favorite course this semester! I learned more about German history and culture, and this made me appreciate how special it is! All of the projects this semester were really fun and I learned a lot through my research and other classmates presentations. I really enjoyed Dr. Rosenau’s teaching style. I feel like she was also really understanding of disabilities as well. Once again, loved this course a lot!”

“Your directions for assignments were always clear, and open enough to let us explore our interests. Your lectures were engaging and enjoying to be in. I greatly enjoyed being in this class, and would love to take another one in the future!”

“I like how you structured the class by having us look at our workbooks, break up into groups for practice, calling on us to come up with our own sentences, and having us complete things on Blink Learning. I appreciate your understanding whenever something came up and I had to submit something past the due date or be absent from the class. I also liked the plethora of resources you gave us to further our German language skills.”

“The most effective part of this course was the different types of media you offered us to learn. Powerpoint presentations, reading assignments, videos, and being able to share our thoughts was great. I appreciate that you provided lectures. The projects were also very fun. They got me excited to learn more about Germany.”

ALTEC Student Feedback (Spring 2022)

“Loved Maggie Rosenau and her lessons. Very engaging and useful language lessons.”

“Maggie is such an outstanding teacher. She completely pours her heart and soul into the classes she teaches, and it’s so wonderful to learn from her! I feel like she uses technology in a really impressive way that adds so much to the learning experience, and she creates a very inclusive, engaging classroom environment.”

“I love ALTEC German and I think Maggie Rosenau is the best instructor on the planet.”

ALTEC Student Feedback (Fall 2021)

“This class was so wonderful, and Maggie is a great teacher. I was definitely not expecting an online class to be so engaging, but she went out of her way to make the class so fun and interesting! These classes were easily the best part of my week each week, and I really hope ALTEC is able to keep offering more German classes that are not just the beginning level classes.”

“Maggie is a gem, you are lucky to have her. ;)”

“I enjoyed this class and appreciated that it was all online.  In general, I know that online classes are not always ideal, but after working all day, it was nice to be able to do it from home.”

“Maggie is an awesome instructor and I so appreciate all the talent, skill, resources, time and care that she gives to this class. Thank you!”

Fall 2021 (Beginning German)

“I loved this course and the instructor for her compassion for the students, her passion for the content, and her overall organization, structure, and consistency throughout the course.”

“Very enjoyable class and professor! There was a lot of content (I could definitely feel the 5 credit experience!) but she taught it well. Always open to questions and clarification. Learning didn’t feel like hand-holding or being thrown overboard, but rather a nice in-between.”

“I really liked how much real-world content was shared throughout the class. Music videos, websites, recipes, and real locations made this information relevant.”

“I think you did an amazing job teaching our class this new language! The format of doing the readings before and after class and practicing and using our class time to reinforce the reading really helped me to actually understand German. I have learned more German this semester than I did taking three years of Spanish in high school (which I don’t remember at all now). And as cheesy as they were, the videos and being able to listen to whole conversations in German helped me to be able to understand more than if I had just read. The accusative/dative/nominative song also helped me a lot!”

“I love everything about the class. The homework was helpful, the layout of canvas was clear. Feedback was always great and helpful. I never felt judged or scared of making a mistake.”

“Maggie is one of your most caring instructors I have ever had the pleasure of being taught by! She genuinely cares about her students and when situations arise, she takes that into account for participation. One of your best and should definitely be retained by CU Denver!”

Spring 2021 (Beginning German & Current German Culture & Society)

“It was wonderful to work with such a caring and engaged professor during a particularly challenging time (the Covid-19 pandemic).”

“I love how considerate you are for your students. This year has been very rough and other professors have come to ignore how their students may be feeling. Thank you for always taking time to not only make sure we were okay but to also make sure that we were not overwhelmed.”

“She incorporates diversity into every conversation and current events are interwoven into discussions.”

“I enjoyed the projects we were given this semester. It was fun to actually create full blown advertisements for various products entirely in German. When I started the year I didn’t really think I’d get very far with my German. I figured it would be slow and steady, and by the end of the semester I’d only know how to say general pleasantries. But that’s not the case. Over the course of 2 semesters I can now have pretty in depth conversations with my German family. I’m definitely way further along than I would have thought and I think that’s due to the patience and understanding of Maggie. She took her time with everyone in the class to help us with exactly what we needed. The classes were often catered to help us with the mistakes she saw in our homework, or we’d sometimes go into explanations on questions we came to class with. I think the flexibility of the syllabus and the class content, helped to allow students to focus on anything they really wanted to know or needed help with.”

“I like the fact that the course applied the language to real-world perspectives such as the environment and the movement of people.”

“Absolutely wonderful professor. I’m so glad I got to have Maggie as my teacher for this class. She obviously cared very much about her students, and that made it a lot easier for me to focus on my work and put more effort into it.”

“Working with other students in breakout rooms was very helpful. Also, the reviews and warm-ups at the beginning of each lecture were helpful to recall previously used grammar, vocabulary, etc. Dr. Rosenau is easy to talk to, helpful, and understanding. She seems very interested in her students’ well-being, education, and getting them to have fun while speaking German.”

“Dr. Rosenau clearly has a passion for Germany, and although this class easily could’ve been so boring and standard, she made it fun, engaging, and productive. If Dr.Rosenau is ever in my course list options again, I will highly consider taking their course, regardless of the subject. She made herself aware of our struggles throughout the semester and catered to those, while also ensuring we gathered sufficient knowledge in the course material. I spent the least amount of time doing meaningless assignments and gained the most knowledge, compared to the rest of my courses this semester.”

“I really appreciated the flexibility that Maggie offered in this class. I’m a senior and took this class strictly for fun. I didn’t need it to graduate, I was just interested in the topic. I appreciated that when I was drowning in work with my mandatory classes, Maggie was understanding and companionate and allowed things to be flexible. She is honestly one of the most understanding professors that I have had. I think that that understanding also allows her to foster good group discussions that help reflect on various backgrounds and perspectives. Ultimately I really enjoyed this class.”

Winter 2021 (Beginning German)

“Maggie is one of the most empathetic and compassionate instructors I’ve ever had. Many professors claim to care about student’s mental health, but Maggie walks the walks with her flexibility and understanding. She is easily available outside of class and always willingly to meet with students outside of class. She’s also more than willingly to stray from the textbook to meet student’s needs when there is clearly a better way to teach the same material that is overcomplicated in the textbook.”

“Maggie has compassion towards her students reflected in her teaching style and content. She is flexible on learning styles without losing important content to learn.”

“The instructor is very open to questions and non-judgemental.”

“She really cares about the wellbeing of her students in both mental health and our learning.”

“Maggie is very helpful in all aspects.”

“Maggie is an excellent teacher. She takes time to create powerpoint presentations for every class, and she often creates content unique to the students taking the course. She understands that her students have other classes and things going on in their lives and is very flexible and understanding. She uses colors and highlighting effectively to teach grammar concepts. Maggie emphasizes equity, diversity, and inclusion and clearly takes it seriously. She is approachable and knowledgable and fun.”

ALTEC Student Feedback (2020)

“Maggie is a wonderful teacher. Learning a new language is daunting, especially for older learners but Maggie was patient and creative in devising strategies that helped a great deal. Vielen Dank!!”

“I really enjoyed my learning experience this semester in German Beginning I. Maggie was a wonderful instructor and I appreciated her time and thoughtfulness in class preparation and providing materials for us to work on outside of class. She  incorporated feedback and created a space for us to be engaged and learn effectively in a remote setting.”

Fall 2020 (Beginning German)

“Maggie is definitely the best language professor I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a couple of years of language courses before. This course helped me learn so much and the way it was organized made it easy for me to follow along on the content for each respective class.”

“I enjoyed the class a lot. Found myself learning German way quicker than I thought was possible. It was a fun class and I got a lot out of it.”

“Maggie is very good at making sure everyone is on board and explaining things if they don’t make sense. We also had a lot of partner activities which really helped.”

Spring 2020 (Beginning German & Current German Culture & Society)

“Maggie Rosenau is one of the most fun and engaging professors that I have had. She is extremely understanding in personal situations and creates assignments that make the class engaging. Some of the topics covered are not easy topics to talk about and she was able to make it interesting and overall enjoyable. The transition to online in this course was the smoothest one out of all the courses that I am taking. This course was the most fun out of all my courses and I would like to think that is because of my amazing professor!”

“This was a very challenging semester. Due to COVID19, this course went from in person to online. I feel that Professor Rosenau did her absolute best to transition from an in-person class to an online class. I feel that learning a foreign language is not best suited for online work. However, Professor Rosenau was able to create PowerPoints and other online lesson plans to cover down and make up for not being present in class. This was as effective as it could possibly be considering the circumstances. Professor Rosenau is by far the absolute best professor that I have ever had the privilege to have while attending UCD. She brings great credit to foreign language professors, UCD and her name.”

“I am beyond grateful that I had the privilege to take your class. I have had many challenges and ups and downs. I had even thought of giving up a time or two but as you know I’m stubborn and don’t like to quit. You motivated me to keep driving on and inspired me to take it one day at a time. You saw the need to be a mentor over being a professor when the time was right. I can’t even begin to express what a great quality I think that is. Even though I am Soldier, I am also human and it was good to see that you saw it the same way too. I really think that makes you a rare and unique kind of person. You are a great professor and an even more amazing person. I will never forget you and I truly hope this is not the end. I hope that our paths will cross again.”

“It has been such a pleasure getting to know and learn from you this semester. You transformed our in-person class to a really interactive, fun, online course that I got a lot out of. I’ve always had an interest in Germany, but this semester opened my eyes to a new Germany, East Germany.”

“Thank you for such an incredible semester, Maggie! Your class was so enjoyable. I took it just for a fun and I’m so glad I did. It was my best class! I wish I could be in more of your classes but this was my last semester.”

“I have never been very good at languages but I think I improved a good amount this semester. You made the class very enjoyable and I am glad I took the class.”

Fall 2019 (Beginning German)

“You really developed a good class culture and made everyone feel comfortable having fun while learning. It was a really effective strategy at making a two-hour class fun.”

“I feel Maggie is very patient with the different learning speeds of her students.”

“She really cares if people are learning and does a good job checking on that learning. I really like the examples she does on the board and explains things really well.”

“Maggie is a very attentive teacher who cares a lot about her students.”

“This course was the best language class I’ve taken.”

Spring 2019 (Norse Myth)

“Maggie cared for her students and the class. Showed respect and encouraged discussion.”

“I didn’t have a ton of interest in the subject, however Maggie Rosenau is an excellent TA and made this recitation enjoyable.”

“Maggie is an amazing instructor and person. She is very deeply invested in her students, and their success is her top priority. Despite her own workload, she is always prepared and engaged during her class. I could not have asked for a better instructor.”

Fall 2018 (Icelandic Sagas)

“Your level of energy during 8am Friday recitations is admirable. You really encourage interest in this topic, and you emphasize the importance of viewing these writings critically.”

“The amount of interest shown in this subject by Maggie really made it easier to like and get into the subject. She inspired great conversation and was constantly doing whatever she could to help us get everything we could out of the subject.”

“It was refreshing to have a kind, enthusiastic TA for once!”

Spring 2017 (Beginning German)

“One of the best teachers I’ve ever had!! She was so encouraging.”

“Maggie does a really good job making sure everyone is on task and understands the subject by explaining the topic in different ways.”

“Maggie is always a happy person which sets students at ease.”

“Best German teacher at CU so far.”

“Maggie has consistently and effectively created an encouraging learning environment. She is always available to ensure the success of her students.

“Maggie is by far my favorite teacher at CU and has made me love the language of German.”

“Honestly one of the best teachers I have had.”

“One of the best professors I have had in college. Maggie is very engaging and shows that she wants the students to know the material. Asking questions is easy and she is very helpful.”

“Maggie is a fantastic instructor. She is so personable and SO great at making sure students understand the material. I wish I could have her as a professor for all of my German classes.”

Fall 2016 (Beginning German)

“Thanks for being so available to give extra help. You’re a great teacher!”

“Maggie is very kind, patient, and genuine–the qualities that all language teachers should have.”

“The course really made me comfortable with my German speaking abilities and actually being able to get by in useful situations. The instructor always spoke German, regardless of whether we had learned some of the words she said or not, which conditioned the students to always think, speak, and respond in German. Great and lovely energy.”

Fall 2015 (Beginning German)

“Frau Rosenau is very effective, accommodating, and kind. I enjoyed learning from her.”

“Helluva teacher.”

“Maggie is part of the reason I continue to take German courses. She has a great teaching style and inspires me to become a teacher myself.”

“She helped me learn a lot and helped me keep my anxiety low in a challenging subject, which is a big deal.”

Spring 2015 (Beginning German)

“Ich liebe Deutsch!”

“One of the most perceptive, intuitive, and effective teachers I have had. An absolute pleasure.”

“Maggie ist eine wunderschöne Lehrerin.”

“Great teacher.”

“Maggie was very thorough and also great in helping one with possibilities for studying German over the summer.”

“Maggie has a really great way of teaching this subject.”

“I really like that Maggie writes on the board and that she is very patient.”

Fall 2013/Spring 2014 (German Fairy Tales)

“My favorite class yet! You do a good job of always being available and helpful. You always make the class engaging and fun.”

“Ms. Rosenau is an absolutely amazing TA. She was always willing to help her students understand the material better and she was so much help with guiding ideas for our projects.”

“Amazing teacher. Please keep her around.”

“Maggie was always really helpful and if she didn’t know something, she would figure it out and get back to us during the next class.”

“I loved how accepting Maggie was of our own thoughts and viewpoints.”

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