There are a couple of single-panel comics scattered throughout the run of Casual Notice. They mostly occur when I didn’t have enough action to justify multiple panels, as with this one. I decided early on that we would never see any of Scot’s students. A teacher’s relationship with his students is an odd one under the best of circumstances. In most cases, public school teachers see any given student for one-to-six hours, five days a week, for maybe nine months, if they’re lucky. That you so often hear of the profound effect that good teachers have on people’s lives speaks more to the insane devotion and skill of good teachers than it does to the potential for damage done by mediocre and bad ones.
Think about it, a teacher’s influence amounts to about 26 days of your life, and that influence is divided between 20 to 40 other people. So let’s be generous and say that a teacher can reasonably devote a single day to a given student. Yet some teachers are so good at what they do, or care so much about the students they’re charged with instructing, that that single day shines in the student’s memory for thirty years or more. It changes the direction of lives, and rewrites history.
Think about that the next time someone bitches about teachers’ unions but doesn’t say a word about the insane salaries paid to upper-level administrators.
Anyway, I decided not to show the students, because I expected the comic to run a few years (it ran five) and I had no intention of letting any of the students become strip regulars. These were AP kids, and the odds that they would be slouching around school for six years (as in Head of the Class) were pretty slim.