About Me:

Aloha! I'm Wendy Kennar. I'm the mother of a seven-year-old son and a wife living in Los Angeles. I was a public school teacher for twelve years until a chronic medical condition made it necessary to leave my teaching career.

I've always been described as "quiet" - really, I'm just biting my tongue. I've got lots to say, and lots of thoughts to share, I just prefer to write them. That's the purpose of this blog. Each Wednesday, I post a personal essay offering my observations and thoughts.

A few fun facts about me: I've wanted to be a writer since second grade, when my teacher, Mrs. Jones, made me a "book" with a yellow construction paper cover. I have never learned to whistle, have always preferred sunflowers to roses, and have spent my life living within the same zip code.

Through the years, my writing has been published in the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, United Teacher, GreenPrints, L.A. Parent, DivineCaroline.com, RoleReboot.org, XOJane, and Brain, Child Magazine. Additionally, my personal essays have been included in several anthologies, including: The Barefoot Review, Beyond the Diaper Bag, Lessons From My Parents, Write for Light, Being a Grown-Up: A User's Manual for the Real World, Ka-Pow!, How Writing Can Get You Through Tough Times, Breath and Shadow, The Grey Wolfe Storybook, and Sisters Born, Sisters Found.
I am a regular contributor at MomsLA.com, and you can also find me at Goodreads.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Feel free to comment and share my blog with others!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Nine Ways Fourth Graders Are Like Kindergartners

   I have recently begun my eleventh year as an elementary school teacher.  This year marks the shift - I had taught kindergarten for five years, and this begins my sixth year teaching fourth grade.  The curriculum is entirely different, but the longer I’m teaching, the more I realize that kids are kids, and many similarities exist between the grade levels.
  1. All children need to be reminded that scissors are for cutting paper.  And only paper.  
  2. Children are still largely afraid of the dark.  A recent hour-long power outage at school sent my fourth grade students into a bit of a panic worried about ghosts and other bad things.
  3. Children enjoy writing on the whiteboard - whether it’s the large class board or individual white boards.
  4. More children will participate during math if the lesson involves food.  With kindergarteners, we sorted and graphed M & M’s.  For the fourth graders, we estimated the number of Smarties in the jar.
  5. Any grade enjoys a “honeymoon period” - like the first few dates when you’re getting to know someone.  Everyone’s on their best behavior and haven’t revealed their “true selves.”  Yet.
  6. Children respond to hugs and stickers.
  7. Books in the library corner are even more enjoyable when read while snuggling with a stuffed animal.
  8. Children will tell you the truth, or at least their version of the truth.  I’m mean.  My shoes are cool.  Math is boring.  They’re more concerned about getting their point of view across than they are about protecting my feelings.
  9. Children are children.  They need love.  And the ones that are most difficult, are probably the ones needing the most love.


  1. I totally agree with you.I don't feel a child can ever get enough love and attention.You are a WONDERFUL teacher and any child that has you for their teacher is so lucky.Your classroom is so bright and colorful and so inviting.I love how their work is displayed all over the room.You worked so hard to become a teacher and I only wish you had had teachers like yourself when you were in school.I love you and I am so proud of you.

  2. You are wonderful with your child and wonderful with your other children (your class). You are very patient, always willing to listen, & always there. Your Mother & I are proud of you.

    Love, Dad

  3. Honey,

    Your school and students are blessed to have you as their teacher. Ryan is really benefiting from your amazing skills as a Mother and Teacher. I am proud of you!



  4. I am so happy you have my babies. I hope everything is going well with you. I love you so much and I miss you. You are an amazing teacher and I am so proud of you!!!