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Learning at its Best

Jesus at Jefferson High

I have heard the word “compliance” too many times for me to count this year. And so, with that in mind, I’m reposing an piece about education and compliance:

She still felt naked when the reporters arrived to throw stones. Jesus approached the crowd and silenced them with the permission to criticize and to ask and to bombard only if they hadn’t sinned. So, they walked away, confused as much by the discussion of hypocrisy and sin as by the mysterious man who would walk up and stop the ever-present media machine. The next day, talk radio was ablaze with calls for his resignation. Glenn Beck had convinced his listeners that Jesus was a Nazi. Rush Limbaugh said that this is what we get when we take God out of school.

It is not surprising that he aroused controversy. The problems began the first day of school. Labeled a renegade and a liberal for his long hair and beard, he won the support of the students when he tossed the student handbooks out the window and began telling stories of loving one another. The problems increased as the weeks progressed. A group of angry parents led the Center for Arizona Political Action, a neo-con think tank, to start anti-Jesus blogging sites. People labeled him a Communist Anarchist for his answer to a wealthy conservative kid whom he told to sell all his stuff and give it to the poor. Some excused his fit of anger when he called the AIMS test heresy and overturned the tables on the McGraw Hill executive representatives. Yet, it was unforgivable when he referred to educational-reform politicians as “foxes” and “unmarked graves.”

Administrator: As you know, we have some things to talk with you about. We’ll start with some of the smaller things. Jesus, you aren’t following standard procedure on the curriculum map.

Union Rep: He’s doing just fine. He turned in the lesson plans this week.

Administrator: Yes, but “love one another” does not qualify as an objective. It must be a measurable behavior. Besides, we’re more concerned about the use of unconventional teachings styles. I don’t think they are the scientifically tested best practices.

Jesus: The deaf hear. The mute speak. The blind receive sight.

Union Rep: That’s measurable! Plus, did he mention that there are Special Ed kids who now read at a college level? And this is from a guy who teaches a life skills class. I don’t see any other FACS teachers accomplishing such feats.

Administrator: I’m referring to your narrative approach to teaching.

Jesus: I will speak in a parables so . . .

Administrator: Call them what you will, but they confuse kids. Teaching is supposed to make hard things understandable. I have had phone calls for Dr. Dobson and Jay Seculo who are upset that you are telling stories containing nudity and violence. This “Good Samaritan” story – the one with the Islamist as a hero, the naked guy beaten on the street. You simply can’t tell those stories in school.

Union Rep: Okay, so he’ll change his approach. What else you got?

Administrator: The staff winter party.

Union Rep: You were so drunk, you hardly remember.

Administrator: That’s the problem. The whole staff is angry that you turned water into wine. In fact, some say that’s when the whole teacher affair thing began. They had too much to drink and now there’s a controversy. People are calling you a “home wrecker,” a drunkard and unprofessional.

Union Rep: He didn’t even get drunk that night.

Administrator: But it’s his reputation. We looked at his Facebook accounts and he had hookers and and tax accountants – tax accountants for Christ’s sake!

Jesus: It’s not the sick who need a doctor.

Union Rep: It’s his free time. Plus, he has just as a few churchy people on his friend list as well.

Administrator: Still, we can’t have that. Being professional is more than showing up with a shirt and tie. Which leads to the next problem. Jesus, you aren’t being hygienic enough.

Jesus: Foxes have holes and birds have trees but the son of man has no place to lay his head.

Union Rep: See, he’s homeless. He has twelve disciples to support on one income. You know what starting teachers earn? If you just paid more attention to our professional needs in the Meet and Confer meetings.

Administrator: What about the feeding of the five thousand?

Union Rep: You were the ones who didn’t plan enough for the Community Celebration. He saved your ass.

Administrator: Until the Health Department zapped us for the lack of documentation. Sure, the bread was good and the fish was okay. I mean, I would have preferred a smoked salmon myself, but that’s beside the point. The “miracles” don’t fit within our FDA regulations. Well, what do you have to say for yourself?

Jesus sat there in silence.


About John Spencer

I teach. I write. I live. I want to do all three authentically.


2 thoughts on “Jesus at Jefferson High

  1. Cartoon rocks!

    Posted by Kirsten | December 16, 2011, 11:26 am

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