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, July 9, 2014

Never Again

   The stores are starting to display their back-to-school wares, and I’m starting to feel a bit nostalgic.  Don’t get me wrong -- there are plenty of aspects of teaching that I don’t miss (writing report cards and attending staff meetings).  But, there are plenty of things I do miss (mainly the kids and the connections we shared).  

    I rummaged through the bins at Target, fingering the Happy Birthday certificates, and acknowledging that I would never need to purchase another pack of birthday certificates again.  And that’s not all.

   Here, I share fifty “never again” moments:

1.  Never again will I greet a class with “Morning loves,” before leading them to our classroom door.

2.  Never again will I conduct parent/teacher conferences, attempting to condense the positive remarks, the areas of improvement, and the concerns into a fifteen-minute conversation.

3.  Never again will I roll up our flag, lock up the closets, and turn in my classroom key before summer vacation.

4.  Never again will I return to a dark, musty classroom and begin unpacking closets and cleaning desks.

5.  Never again will I write the page number within a heart on our whiteboard.

6.  Never again will I host a multicultural Thanksgiving potluck feast.

7.  Never again will I spend Friday afternoons grading weekly quizzes (spelling, vocabulary, states and capitals).

8.  Never again will I travel to different office supply stores searching for the best deals on crayons, glue, rulers, notebook paper, and spiral notebooks.

9.  Never again will I teach a room-full of children the lyrics to our national anthem.

10.  Never again will I need to report suspected cases of child abuse.

11.  Never again will I say “I love you” to children I am not related to.

12.  Never again will I demonstrate the proper way to “drop/cover/hold” and go through all the possible scenarios if an earthquake should occur.

13. Never again will I hang bulletin board paper.

14.  Never again will I need to brainstorm gift ideas for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

15.  Never again will I need to determine if Lunar New Year will be in January or February.

16.  Never again will I have to practice songs for the winter holiday show.

17.  Never again will I have to plead for paper towels for our classroom.

18.  Never again will I try to find just the right book for each child as a holiday gift.

19.  Never again will I need to shop for “brain food” (snacks I would give my students during testing and during those lessons when we all needed a pick-me-up).

20.  Never again will I bring my electric grill into a classroom and make quesadillas to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

21.  Never again will I host a “Back to School Night” complete with snacks for hungry parents who have arrived straight from work.

22.  Never again will I go to work in my pajamas in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday and Read-Across-America.

23.  Never again will I spend lunch with a table-full of students as a reward for their efforts.

24.  Never again will I spend the last few days of school celebrating all the summer birthdays so that each child has received a special birthday acknowledgment.

25.  Never again will I need to teach multiple children, multiple times, the difference between a homophone and a homograph.

26.  Never again will I go searching for tennis balls to be used as silencers on the bottoms of my students’ chairs.

27.  Never again will I go shopping for items to fill our prize box.

28.  Never again will I look at a face, now older, and try to remember the name of the child who had once been in my class.

29.  Never again will I save paper towel rolls to make time capsules during the first week of the school year.

30.  Never again will I paint children’s hands until they look like turkeys.

31.  Never again will I read package labels to insure our brain food is nut free.

32.  Never again will I be trained in the proper way to administer an EpiPen.

33.  Never again will I pause when the fire alarm sounds, wondering if it is in fact a drill or if we will hear an announcement to disregard the alarm and continue with instruction.

34.  Never again will I write out Valentine cards for thirty-plus students.

35.  Never again will I explain to a room full of children why I don’t allow the word “hate” in our classroom.

36.  Never again will I plan a multitude of yearly celebrations:  a Halloween party, a winter holiday party, and an end-of-the-year party.

37.  Never again will I periodically test a child’s reading speed while reassuring the student that speed isn’t as important as comprehension.

38.  Never again will I think of something positive to say for each child as we fill out our Valentine’s Day Compliment Page for each class member.

39.  Never again will I brainstorm ways to celebrate the 100th day of school.

40.  Never again will I lock our classroom door and huddle with my students on the floor during a lockdown drill.

41.  Never again will I have to reassure students that my number one job is to keep them healthy and safe, even if it means stepping into the line of fire.

42.  Never again will I create an end-of-the-year collage depicting our year together.

43.  Never again will I craft an introductory, “Welcome to our class” letter.

44.  Never again will I write an end-of-the-year, goodbye letter.

45.  Never again will I help students write letters to the President of the United States in honor of President’s Day.

46.  Never again will I end the day with a good-bye hug for my students.  

47.  Never again will I officiate an in-class election to coincide with society’s mayoral/gubernatorial/presidential election.

48.  Never again will I need to take the yearly online child abuse training.

49.  Never again will I create a bulletin board display for Hispanic-American Heritage Month.

50.  Never again will I be regularly addressed as “Mrs. Kennar.”


  1. It is amazing all the extra things you did for your kids.I know you loved teaching (minus the few flaws that came with the job).Your kids loved you,and they were lucky to have you for their teacher.I love you and I am proud of you.

  2. Honey,
    Your students were so lucky to have a teacher like you! You are a one-of-a-kind teacher and always gave your class a 110% effort and love.
    I Love You!

  3. I know how hard it was for you to walk away from teaching. You were a very devoted and special teacher. I wish I would have had teachers like you when I was in school. Your mother & I are proud of you.
    love, dad

  4. You are an amazing teacher and friend. Your students and peers are so much better because you have touched their lives. I am a better teacher because of you! Thank you for loving those children as your own. I am so proud of you and all you have accomplished. I love and miss you!!!!