Donna O'Donnell Figurski's Blog

It's All About Me!

On School #5 My Teacher is from Mars

Disclaimer:  The names in this musing are changed to protect the “infamous.”

It started a long time ago. When my six-year-old students asked me where I was from, I quickly replied, “Mars.” Their eyes widened. They liked this. But I explained that I was no ordinary Martian – NOT me! Nothing ordinary for me. (Remember my earlier post, called TidBits About Donna #8 No Ordinary Slot for Me.)

I told them I was a Marsling, which, of course, made them Earthtians. Kids love the out-of-the-ordinary and there is plenty of that in my classroom. I explained that Mars is very, very, far away – more than 36 million miles away. My commute is long – really long. There are crazy drivers too, up there in space, just like on Earth. Sometimes I even run into asteroid or comet jams. It’s a wonder I get to school on time each morning! Do you like my new, blue Orbital? It’s the latest model and it’s fast.

My students wanted to know about Marslings and how I was different from them. I told them I had many retractable hands, which, I explained, are very handy, especially when “You children all want me to do a million things at once.” (They are a needy bunch.) I have lots of eyes too, so that I can see everything happening in my classroom. They marveled each time I called out “Marcus, stop playing with your pencil,” or “Tina, pick up the paper you dropped,” or “Lily, I like the flower you are drawing,” all the while my back was turned. “How did you see us, they’d ask?” I’d simply point to somewhere on my head, usually the back,  lift my hair slightly, and say, “This one.” It is fun to watch their surprised faces and their sidelong glaces to their friends, as if to say “She’s weird enough. It just might be true.”

The concept of Marsling and Earthtian became embedded in my classroom during Group Daily News. GDN is a group paragraph writing lesson. Each day the children suggest three topics they wish to write about. The class votes and the topic with the most votes wins. That is what we write about for that lesson. It could be anything … butterflies, robots, alligators, or aliens … anything. After we brainstorm the topic and write all the ideas on a web on the whiteboard, the paragraph can be written. I write the title at the top of the chart paper on the easel. Then they begin.


“An alien is something from space,” someone suggested. “WHOA!” I said and scratched my head, being careful not to poke an eye. “What’s an alien?” I mused. Then I sat back and asked, “Where am I from?” In unison they answered, “Mars.” Then I asked, “So what does that make me?” “A Marsling!” “So what are you?” I continued. “Earthtians!” they said with a giggle. So, remember if I am from Mars, you have to explain everything to me.” Then someone else tried, “An alien is a thingee that comes to Earth.” “Ahhh,” I exclaimed. “I get it. An alien is a thing!” “Nooooo,” they called out. “Well, you said it was something. Then you said it was a thingee. So I figured it must be some kind of thing.” I sighed in exasperation. Finally someone explained. “An alien is a creature from outer space.” I smiled. “Ohhhhh, now I understand. You mean like my relatives – my husband, Dr. Figurski, and my kids, Kiersten and Jared. Ahhhh, now I get it,” I said. The rest of the paragraph was easy.

Being a Marsling living in a classroom with twenty-four Earthtians is NOT easy! But it makes life on Earth interesting.

(Clip Art compliments of


February 7, 2010 - Posted by | On School | , , , ,

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