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, November 28, 2012


   I lie to children.  Monday through Friday, September to June, at some point during the school day, I lie to children just entering their double-digit years.

   Maybe “lie” is too harsh a word.  I fool, I act, I entertain.  I persuade, I cajole, I influence.  

   I read with an excitement I don’t feel about Father Serra and the establishment of the California Missions.  I pretend to listen with interest as a student recounts a video game experience.  I bite my tongue and don’t tell a child I’m glad I only have to be her teacher until June.

   I “create” an honest statement of praise to begin each parent/teacher conference.  I diplomatically tell a parent that their child has leadership qualities, meaning they’ve become the “mean, popular kid.”  I tell a parent their child has artistic tendencies, meaning your child is drawing “Angry Birds” during lessons.

   Upon returning from a one week Thanksgiving break, I’m met with hugs and echoes of “I missed you.”  When asked, I tell students I missed them too.  But I lie.  It’s not that I didn’t miss a particular student, it’s that I didn’t miss my job - teaching this group of students.  Because I’m not just teaching.  I’m mothering.  I’m counseling.  I’m feeding.  I’m 
reminding about untied shoelaces, encouraging a child to take a jacket outside to ward against the chill in the air.  I’m teaching the importance of “please” and “thank you,” and I’m teaching how to win and lose graciously.  

   And, I confess, I do things and say things that no teaching-credential program would approve of.  I am sarcastic - “Thank you for waiting so quietly.”  I use guilt - “Go apologize to the office staff for being noisy as we walked by.”  I try to shame my students with, “I’m so disappointed in you.”  And I hope flattery will bring more of the desired behavior - “You’re too smart to need reminders about how to walk in a line.”

   I am the hugging teacher.  The one that greets her class each morning with, “Good morning, loves.”  I am the nurturing teacher, the one who draws hearts on the board, to send my students love while they’re taking a test.  I do it because it’s the only way I know how to teach.  

   And I confess, some children are harder to love than others.  Some children are much more difficult to appreciate than others.  Some children scare me; my future is, to a certain extent, in their hands.

   I confess that some days I count down the hours until the final bell.  I confess that by the time March rolls around, I’m counting down the days to spring break.  And upon returning from spring break, I’m counting down the days to summer vacation.

   I confess that teaching is harder than I ever thought it would be.  I confess that, after twelve years, I fantasize about quitting my job.  


  1. It seems lately the past few years you have had really hard students to deal with,and what makes it worse is that they don't seem to care how they act,and even more so is that the parents are so tuned out about everything and can't be bothered.Having just had these parent teacher conferences and not having all parents show is sad and they seem to show no interest in what goes on with their child.You are an EXCEPTIONAL teacher who goes above and beyond with your students and you have parents requesting you to be their child's teacher.I wish you would have had teachers like yourself when you were in school.I so love reading your work.I am so proud that you had that last article published.I love you and I am so proud to say you are my daughter.

  2. Your BLOG reminds me of the old saying that everyone brings pleasure to this room, some by coming and some by going. Besides your health issues, you are in that place where you are aware of all the politics and BS that is involved with your job. I encountered the same feelings in my career. You are an exceptional teacher, you have an attribute that many of your peers are lacking "you care". You go above and beyond of what is required. Your Mother and I are proud of you.

    Love Dad

  3. Honey,
    You are an amazing teacher and these children are lucky to have you looking out for them. Your writing is amazing and I am so proud of your blog and what you have done as a teacher. I really hope these kids realize what a great teacher they have.