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!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers

   My fourth grade students recently completed a Language Arts Assessment that included a writing component.  Students were asked to read a short piece of fiction, summarizing it and responding to it by making a personal connection.

   In the story, a young boy discovers a purse full of money and has to make the decision to return the purse, and money, to its rightful owner (identification was inside) or keep the money for himself so he could buy the bike he wanted.  (The boy was tempted to keep the purse, but he decided to return the purse to its owner.  The woman who lost her purse was also the owner of the bike store and rewarded the young boy with the bike he wanted for half its selling price).  

   I will say this -  my students are honest.  Some wrote that they would return the purse because it’s the right thing to do.  Other students wrote that they would keep $10 or $20 and return the rest.  One student wrote that he would take just enough so that others wouldn’t be suspicious.  And some students claimed justification for keeping all the money in the whole “Finders keepers, losers weepers” mantra.

   I read these essays, and it scared me.  This is our future.  Will my retirement years be in the hands of selfish young adults?  Or maybe that’s too cynical a view.  I’m not entirely objective, after all.  I do spend all day with these children, seeing them at their nice and not-so-nice sides.  

   So, I remind myself that these are nine and ten-year-olds answering this question.  Maybe, if the situation presented itself to them, their conscience (or their parents or their teacher) would be the voice of reason.  

   I hope so.


  1. Honey,
    These kids are so lucky to have you guiding them and showing them a higher level of values. Ryan is really learning so much from the way you teach him at home. I really hope that more of these kids start to appreciate how special of a teacher you are!
    I Love You!

  2. When I see how most of the children are today it scares me to think they are our future.I don't believe most of the parents are teaching them right from wrong and it seems they are just allowed to do whatever they please.Parents seem to be just taking the easy way out and I feel they bring the children into this world but want others to be raising them and that just isn't how it works,and then these are the same parents that wonder why their children get in trouble later on in life.You are a very WONDERFUL and SPECIAL teacher and you are so devoted to your students.I only hope when Ryan is in school he has teachers like his WONDERFUL mommy.Even with all your health issues that you are dealing with your love for your students and patience with them keep on going.I love you and I am so proud of you.

  3. Interesting dilemma, I often ask others, if you found a wallet with $2.00 in it, would you return it? Most indicate that they would. I then ask if you found a wallet with $200, would you still return it? Answers vary, some would some won't. Some people endorse the finders keepers mentality. I once found an envelope full of cash at work, when the person asked if I found it, I was tempted, but I did return the cash. You Mother & I are proud of you.

    Love, Dad

  4. You've got to commend their honesty. Wow. I am fascinated that they aren't more idealistic. I think I was when I was younger. I love your new posts! Keep up the great writing!