Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

a teacher's comic
Pineapple at 3:03AM, Nov. 28, 2009
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hey guys. I've got an idea for a comic and I want to know what you guys think. I've finished uni and it looks like next year I'm going to be a primary school substitute teacher. I was thinking that I could have a comic that shows some of the real things that happened in the classroom. I wouldn't use any of the students' names or likeness. I wouldn't be able to do the art myself, I'd have to call someone else in. So what do you think? I'd really like some ideas and suggestions.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:43PM
skoolmunkee at 10:55AM, Nov. 28, 2009
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I would be very careful with that if I were you. Even if you are fictionalizing things and not using names or likenesses, there is the possibility that one of the students may recognize themselves and react negatively. Schools are an incredibly touchy place nowadays and it takes very little to get suspended or blacklisted. Using a pseudonym may not be enough to protect you from being ‘discovered’
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:43PM
BlkKnight at 12:05PM, Nov. 28, 2009
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I'd have to agree with Skool on that one. K-12 is considerably more political and strict on this type of stuff than Higher Ed.
That's “Dr. BlkKnight” to all of you.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:26AM
Pineapple at 1:50AM, Dec. 1, 2009
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yeah. A good idea, but not worth risking my job over. A pity, but thanks for the advice.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:43PM
BffSatan at 3:09AM, Dec. 1, 2009
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It would be pretty hard to prove anything, and it's not exactly likely that any of the students would find it. Besides, I'm pretty sure similar things have been done before and no one's gotten in any trouble.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:21AM
sakebento at 10:51AM, Dec. 1, 2009
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I dunno, I think it would be fine. As long as you're not doing terrible things like depicting your students impaled on stakes, it's fine. There are plenty of blogs where teachers write about their experiences teaching, often it a lighthearted and humorous manner. It shouldn't be too different if it's a comic. Just treat all your characters with respect and write it in such a way that you wouldn't feel bad if your students DID read it. Honestly, if I found out my teacher wrote a comic about me, I'd be excited.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:17PM
3D Glasses at 4:21PM, Dec. 6, 2009
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I think it could be hilarious if you do it right. Here in Canada, it takes a lot for a teacher to get fired (just about the only things being romance with a student of physical violence). So I think you'll be fine with it, as long as there's nothing terribly wrong with it.

Bear in mind that schools are becoming more and more involved with the internet, though (like with their stance on cyber bullying).
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:44AM
Pineapple at 1:30PM, Dec. 8, 2009
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I don't think there is going to be a simple yes or no answer for this one. But as someone pointed out, teachers do have blogs, I'm pretty sure I've been told its okay if I keep on. So really a comic wouldn't be that different.During my first teaching prac, I kept a diary, and that really helped. I think the comic would kind of be the same.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:43PM
skoolmunkee at 3:30PM, Dec. 8, 2009
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There is a difference between keeping a diary (which sounds like a private thing) and a publicly posted thing where places and names could be figured out with just a little investigation. I am sure most people do just motor along thinking that anonymised blogs etc. must be fine, until someone has some bad luck and then you will be amazed at how fast the school system turns on them. There's also a difference between keeping a ‘thoughtful’ account, where most discussion centres around issues and higher-level stuff of interest to an educator, and something meant to be accessible and comedic where the focus is on the fictionalized accounts of stuff regarding students.

I'm not saying it's a horrible idea and it definitely shouldn't be done, what I'm saying is that it needs to be done carefully. There is an element of human ethics and respect involved and using students in that way may infringe a school district policy. someone who wants to do that should also consider how the comic might appear to other teachers, to students, to administration and to parents- ie if there are strips where the students seem dumb, it might be funny to the internet, but not to people peripherally involved with the author and his job. If I were a principal of a school and I knew of a substitute teacher who made comics putting students in a negative light, I wouldn't want to ring them up.
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:43PM

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