I intended to share what happened at seminary yesterday once I got home, ate dinner, and relaxed, but my brain was pretty worn out. If I didn't know I'm a morning person before this class began, I would know now. In the afternoon, after 2:00, we were working silently on developing observation, interpretation, and correlation questions for two passages, James 1:1-18, and Mark 5:21-43. After that, we were to be ordering them in a flow which would direct the lesson. I really find mid afternoon is not my favourite time for such concentrated work, and I really struggled to focus. Fortunately, these are not due for a while.
Creating bible study material is a writing exercise as well as a study exercise. It means knowing how to communicate questions in a way that will generate deeper thinking, and without giving the student the answer. The student needs to work for an answer. I was taught once that when I organize discussion questions, I ought to ask it in a way that the answer is obvious, and the student feels a measure of success. That worked with homeschooling, but for students of the bible, it does tend to make it too easy. Certainly, for beginners, we may want to approach it in that way, but for a keen student of the bible, they ought to be directed back to the text. That is what we have been doing for the past two days: looking at the text.
One of the things I enjoyed yesterday was when we were able to share some of our questions with the person next to us, and hear theirs. Corporate study is always so helpful. Later, we shared some of our questions from the Mark passage (the healing of Jairus's daughter) and some of the correlation questions were so good. One of the goals is this study, which we're going to be looking at today, is the benefit of producing curriculum as a team. I'm interested to see how that will work. We will also be learning how to evaluate a published bible study. We had to purchase three for the course, and we've been invited to bring some if we have them. I'm bringing Keri Folmar's study on Philippians, because I think that will fall under the "good study" category.
The prof's co-teacher talked a bit about writing struggles and how we can overcome those, and as she shared some of those struggles, I could nod in understanding from my own writing of my blog. It's a different kind of writing, but the struggles are still the same. It's nice to know that we all have writing struggles now and then.
Today is the last day until April 18th, and there two assignments due in between today and then. After April 18, there are two more assignments due. I have really benefitted from spending time with other bible teachers, but I will be glad not to be away from 7:30 until 6:00 p.m. I am ignoring the fact that I have to prepare a lesson for Tuesday's young mom's bible study. Fortunately, I had the foresight to make arrangements for my Sunday school class for tomorrow. However, when I start teaching from Ephesians 5, I'll be utilizing some of my new found knowledge.
One of the women in the class who is about to graduate (this elective is her last class) had done very little of this kind of study. It just goes to show that Seminary may teach you a lot, but when it comes to some of the the more hands on things like writing a study, or even leading a class, there is no expectation. I see the timing of my ability to attend seminary as quite providential.
Onward and upward.