Sorry, but I am cheating and back dating this post. I taught the first half of Mark last week (July 16-20). The class went well. This is the first time I taught this group of students. There are about 14 students in the class. They did pretty well at discussing the various points in the first 8 chapters. We got to talking so much, that we got behind schedule and I was worried that we wouldn't finish the full 8 chapters by Thursday afternoon. We had to stay in class a little longer at tea break and lunch time on Thursday but we managed to finish the lesson by 4:15 so they could have some time to review for the test.
I really enjoy teaching this class. This is one of the first classes where the students are expected to take the answers from the text that they just read. So, it was a struggle at first to get them to look for the answers in Mark. Many of them came up with answers from other gospels or from other parts of the New Testament. I had to keep saying, "well, that might be true in Matthew (or wherever) but that is not what Mark says. What does Mark say?" After the first day, they were beginning to think - I bet the answer is in what we just read and then gave the appropriate answers. So, it takes time, but they eventually get it. It is my hope that they will take this and use it when they are teaching in their home churches.
The class did really well in discussions, but are still learning how to study. So, when test time came, I thought I gave them an easy test. Alas, half of them did not pass. So, I tried to encourage them and told them that they can do better. We will see in September when they come back for the second half of the book of Mark. I am looking forward to seeing how they do and to hearing what they think.
I hope you have had a good week!