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, June 3, 2015

Thinking of Mr. Shakman

   Lately I’ve been thinking about my seventh grade history teacher, Mr. Shakman.  Mr. Shakman was unlike any teacher I had ever met -- up to that point.  First off, he was a “Mister.”  All the teachers at my elementary school had been female.  Secondly, Mr. Shakman didn’t look like a teacher.  He came to school in shorts.  He decorated his classroom with posters featuring teddy bears and basketball stars, posters that included some uplifting, encouraging quote.  He passed out salt water taffy as treats.  He periodically let us watch “The Wonder Years,” and told us that we weren’t just watching TV, we were also getting a history lesson as well.  And leading up to a big test, he had this fun game our class played as a review, which ultimately led to the “Super Bowl” between two students.  (I’m proud to say I made it to the Super Bowl more than once!)

   But that’s not why I’ve been thinking of Mr. Shakman.  That’s just some of what I remember about him.  I’m thinking of Mr. Shakman because of the basketball excitement that’s been in our house lately.  (We were rooting for the Clippers).  I remembered a bit of trivia I once overheard Mr. Shakman sharing with another student.  He told this student that there were only a few basketball teams with names that didn’t end with an “s.”  I remember he cited the Heat and the Jazz.  But then I drew a blank and couldn’t remember any other names, so I turned to that omniscient source, Google, for the answer.  (By the way, the missing teams are the Magic and the Thunder.)

   And then that led me to wonder what my students would remember from me.  Perhaps it was a trick I taught my upper-grade class about multiplying nine’s.  Or, maybe it’s the term “the Vomit Comet.”  (That’s the astronauts’ nickname for the XC-135 they would train in to simulate weightlessness.)

   In any event, I send out a virtual “thank you” to Mr. Shakman for the memories!


  1. Honey,
    Your blog is fantastic! I am so proud of you and the great work you post here every week! I Love you!
    Love, me

  2. It is amazing what we remember from some of the teachers we had in the past.Your students will remember plenty of good things about you.You went above and beyond what teachers do.All the kids loved you.I love you and I am very proud of you.

  3. You are a very special person, and you were a great teacher. Your mother & I are
    proud of you.
    Love, dad