This past weekend was the final class day for my seminary class on writing bible study curriculum. I have learned a fair bit, although the emphasis on training others to be bible study curriculum writers, I thought, took away from time that would be better spend on honing the skills of writing the studies themselves.
On Saturday, we gathered with our four sets of flow questions, and broke into groups to do a dry run through them to see how they would be as a bible study. I think the idea was a good one, but the time constraints were too much. Three to four people in a group, each with four studies, and twenty minutes each? There was no way we were going to get it all done. And the studies were meant to take an hour, so they didn't actually get utilized in the way they were meant to.
When I was in school, I never liked group work much, and I didn't like it much on Saturday, because, ultimately, what happens is that someone's work doesn't get evaluated, and everything is rushed through, which is exactly what happened. I honestly did not come away with any feedback about the one study that was actually looked at for more than a few minutes.
I was in two sessions with a student whose studies were longer. I was told to ask 10-12 question, but apparently, we were allowed up to fifteen questions (something mentioned in the manual that I clearly overlooked), and this woman took advantage of that. This meant that her studies were longer. In the last session of the day, I was in a group of three. My study was the last to be examined, and after this woman's 15-16 questions, there was about eight minutes left for mine. It was rushed through, and in the end, the other student with the long studies pointed out that my application question at the end wasn't really an application question, because it didn't tell the student to do anything. I'm not even going to get into what I think about application questions, but at the end of the day, I didn't feel like the peer editing was all that fun.
I think peer editing can be really great, but in such a large group, with such time constraints, I felt like it was not done as well as it could have been. And of course, everyone wants her study to be looked at and evaluated, and there were women who didn't seem to realize that time constraints meant we had to keep moving and not stop for dialogue. I did indeed learn from what others did, but I'm not really sure I got the most benefit from the exercise.
Probably the most frustrating part of the day was the end when we were going over the last assignment, which is a five-day homework plan for a topic. The writer of the sylllabus was not present, so it was left to the co-teacher to field our questions. It's hard to answer questions about a syllabus you haven't written. I left feeling rather confused, and faced an hour long drive home, which began badly, when I got on the highway and there was an accident, slowing down the traffic. It was my 28th wedding anniversary on Saturday, and I wanted to get home to spend tiime with my husband.
It was a day of feeling small, and I supposed we all need those days. It was meant to be a day of fellowship, and it was. We each brought something to contribute for the lunch, and that was nice. Time will tell what I have learned. It was a tiring day, and I was glad to get home.