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, March 6, 2013

March 1st

   March 1st was a big day for me.  It’s the anniversary of the first date I shared with the man who is now my husband.  Sixteen years ago, I began a new adventure, drinking a cafe mocha at a local Starbucks, enjoying our conversation, and feeling an initial  connection with the man I have now been married to for fourteen years.

   This year, March 1st, took on an additional significance.  March 1st, I left my teaching career.  I didn’t just leave schools, or take a leave of absence; I permanently resigned under my doctor’s advice.  

   Being a teacher wasn’t my initial dream.  Back in the day, I had my hopes set high, literally.  I wanted to be an astronaut.  Then I took a class in high school called, “World of Education.”  Four days a week, I left campus and spent the rest of the day volunteering in a nearby elementary school classroom.  I was the teacher’s assistant grading papers.  I was the interventionist giving extra help to a child struggling with long division.  I was the tutor, reviewing flashcards with a child learning English.  And I was the one-on-one assistant for a special boy named Silas.  Silas wasn’t easy to work with, for many reasons.  But we made it work.  I got through to him.  And he got through to me.  I decided I wanted to teach.

   I was fortunate to have spent my entire teaching career in a small, neighborhood, public school.  Because it was the only school I had ever taught at, leaving was that much harder.  Teaching was never just my job; it was my passion.  My school, my classroom was an extension of my home.

   And now I was being told I had to leave.  That I was no longer able to do something I had chosen to do.  

   My emotions and conflicted feelings aside, I really didn’t think most of the school would be impacted by my departure.  I knew my students would be saddened, and concerned - who would give them “brain food” during tests and tell them they were loved.    But, I had erroneously assumed that school would go on.  After all, teaching is largely a thankless job.  For twelve years, I had worked to provide my students with a safe, nurturing environment for them to learn and grow.  Each day, my number one goal was to keep them each healthy and safe.  And I did it, day after day, for twelve years, most of which went un-thanked.

   I taught with my heart and soul because I believed that was the only way to teach.  I was being entrusted with other people’s children, after all; a responsibility I did not take lightly.  I taught with 100% dedication because it was the right thing to do.  I did it without fanfare or acknowledgement.

  Until March 1st.  For the first time in my teaching career, I really knew how much I had touched others.   School-wide, I was acknowledged and celebrated.  Flowers and generous gifts, hugs and tears, kind words and thoughtful thank you’s.  I was humbled, and overwhelmed, and truly touched.  

   Teaching was never easy, and truthfully, seemed to become harder and less pleasurable each year.  Yet I never would have left if not for my doctor.  

   I may not have left the way I would have liked, but I left knowing I had succeeded - I had made a difference.  

   March 1st is now another new beginning, a new adventure awaiting to start.  It was an ending, but also a beginning.  Change can be intimidating, my medical condition scares me, but I know, undoubtedly, that I am loved and appreciated and those feelings will support me on this new adventure of mine.


  1. You are one of the greatest teachers to ever walk this Earth. You have taught me how to care for others and be a compassionate teacher. I would not be the teacher and person I am today without you. Thank you so much for your dedication to yourself, your family, and the students you've taught. You have made a significant impact on my life and those who you have taught. I love you very much and I am so proud of your bravery and courage!!!

  2. Your blog brought me to tears.You have made such a difference at the school and with all the children you have been in contact with.Everyone loved you and you did wonders with all the children.You had some very difficult children each year you taught,but you were always there for them and made such a difference in their lives.You will certainly be missed at school.I am so glad you were acknowledged the way you were as you deserve all that was done for you.I hope and pray now that you are not teaching your pain will lessen.Since learning of your condition you have continued to teach for the over 2 years you are dealing with the horrible pain, but you never complained to your kids or gave them any less of yourself.You have always gone above and beyond what the normal teacher does.I love you and I am so proud of you.

  3. When one door closes, another door opens. You have many things to be proud of. You have been an excellent teacher for twelve years. You have touched the life of many children. Some of the students you had in kindergarten are now in high school, many still come to visit you, which is a testament to you, not only as teacher but the person you are. You are special. Your Mother & I are proud of you.

    Love, Dad

  4. Thank you seems so inadequate right now but I don't know how else to say it. Thank you from the depths of my heart for loving and teaching my children as they were your very own!

    I wish you much happiness in the years to come. I am convinced that the best is yet to come! :)


  5. Honey,
    You gave so much love and care in teaching your kids these last 12 years. I am so glad you finally received recognition from your kids, school, and fellow teachers. It was a joy to see everyone come out to support you and celebrate the great human being you are. You are just an absolutely wonderful person and I love you with all of my heart!

  6. I can't imagine the conflicting emotions of having to leave, but I truly believe that things happen for a reason. You're an amazing person. I'm so glad that we have become friends and that I was able to spend a quarter of your teaching career with you, learning and growing.

    The best is yet to come!