Rachel is a 6th grade student at James Buchanan Middle School who is keenly aware that Jerry is not a human being, but a 6 foot monitor lizard. In fact, she is the only person at school who notices this. This incredible but true fact utterly blindsides her.
Rachel is a lot like you and me. She gets good grades, has a slightly sarcastic attitude, and plays by the rules. She’s not part of any clique or group. She has a few close acquaintances but no real true friends. She gets along well with most of the teachers and can’t wait till college so her life can really begin. Rachel lacks direction in her life but it’s not that big a deal. She’s only 12 for crying out loud.
That is until she met Jerry. While initially she wanted to turn Jerry in, Jerry’s passion and desperation won her over. Jerry talked of his dream to work as an educator, reminding her of her own dashed dream to become a Jedi when she was five. She decides to help Jerry become the best danged substitute teacher of all time.
Rachel is a great contrast to Jerry. Where Jerry is bright and enthusiastic, Rachel is calm and reserved. She tries to slow down any of Jerry’s flights of fancy, while picking him up after a bitter defeat. They make a great team and the future seems bright for both of them.
Rachel is little arrogant in the way that a lot of middle schoolers are; she seems to think that she’s more sophisticated than she really is. Because of this, she tries to hide her crush on Ben, the cute 8th grader, and her nerdy obsessions like “Star Wars” and cartoons. In this way she is nice counterpart to Jerry: Jerry hides his lizard-ness behind the mask of being a teacher while Rachel hides her immaturity behind the mask of sophistication. The mask is the better, or what they perceive to be better, version of who they really are.