First Time Teacher

Eric S. Weiss eweiss at
Sat Sep 1 18:41:52 EDT 2001

I learned from Mounce's book and I taught a first-year class using Mounce.
I started with 18 students, and ended up with 2-1/2 (the "half person"
continued to attend, but not take the tests). Why the dropoff? Because
they just wouldn't believe me when I told them over and over again at the
beginning that if they wanted to learn Greek, they would HAVE TO spend 4-5
hours outside of each weekly class (i.e., 45 min. - 60 min. each day, 5
days a week) doing the homework and learning vocabulary. Plus, I taught
the class for free (at church) -- they paid only for their books and their
GNT -- so there was no financial incentive to continue.

I had the enthusiasm as a teacher, and I think that is a real key, as Ward
Powers says.

The second time I taught it (again, free to church friends, about 7 or 8),
I used GREEK TO ME by Story and Story, based on Paul Dixon's, I believe
(teacher at Multnomah), remarkable repeated success: students learn TWICE
the vocabulary of Mounce, and cover the material in 3/4 the time (24 weeks
at 1 lesson a week, versus 36 weeks). Unfortunately, I had the same
experience again, only this time NO ONE made it past seven or eight weeks.
These were full-time college students and (again, despite my clear
repeated statements) they did not want to believe that this was a real
college-level class, equivalent to 3 hours per semester -- and their
tuition-paid other classes eventually pulled them away.

So, I know of about 25 persons/friends who continue to have to have others
tell them what the New Testament says and means (I'm being partly
facetious). :o)

I'm tempted, if I ever offer to teach it again, to make them prove to
themselves that they'll make the commitment by having them first work
through Jim Found's self-teaching BASIC GREEK IN 30 MINUTES A DAY. It has
about 50 lessons. Tell them they have to buy the book and that they have 2
months to complete it and show it to me as a prerequisite to me agreeing
to teach them -- that's about 5 chapters/lessons a week. This way, both
they and I will know if they will commit to 30-45 minutes a day of
studying, every day, every week. Also, it will give them a head start on
the course.

Best wishes!!!

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