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An Interview with T.D. Flenaugh


T.D. Flenaugh, the host of the Falling for Learning Podcast, has served as a teacher-mama for elementary, middle, and high school for over two decades with the distinction of National Board Certification. As a teacher consultant, Flenaugh has developed curriculum and courses for the Los Angeles Unified School District, San Bernardino City Unified School District, University of California Los Angeles, University of Southern California, Loyola Marymount University, and California State University Fullerton. In addition, she has worked extensively with the UCLA Writing Project and the National Writing Project. Flenaugh also worked to change education policy through fellowships with Educators for Excellence and Teach Plus. She enjoys yoga, writing, and streaming many different shows. Flenaugh lives in California with her family.

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

I wanted to write because I loved reading. My mother and PBS got me into reading. Mama read to us at bedtime, but it was not fairytale books. It was chapter books. I cannot remember the book titles now, but I must’ve been dreaming those words. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to writento be like the wonderful writers who filled my mind with wisdom. PBS also helped me stay connected to learning and interested in it. I’m the original PBS kid.

As an educator and teacher leader for over twenty years, I wrote the book set (The R.E.W.R.I.T.E. Method: The Parent and Educator Guide for Getting Middle Schoolers to Fall in Love with Writing and The R.E.W.R.I.T.E. Method Workbook: The Parent and Educator Action Plan for Getting Middle Schoolers to Fall in Love with Writing) as an answer to inadequate writing instruction. Harmful writing practices are endemic to our education system, which causes many children to hate writing.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I am a lifelong teacher who began teaching my sister to read when I was in 3rd grade. Later, my aunt and mother began Tutoring for Educational Excellence in our church basement where I grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska. So, that’s how I tutored other kids to read throughout my childhood. I officially became a teacher at 22 years old. I have been an instructional coach and teacher consultant for over a decade.

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

The R.E.W.R.I.T.E. Method comes from noticing a gap in writing instruction. Of course, parents and caregivers have to fill in the gap. I wanted an easy way for people to remember, which made me think of the essential ingredients. The acronym R.E.W.R.I.T.E. represents:

R for Root causes and Recognizing talents

E for Effective feedback

W for Writing process

R for Real world purposes

I for Intentional practice

T for Traits

E for Encouraging creativity

This book set is for parents and educators because many of us are both. The title also speaks to the upward trend toward homeschooling. I have not homeschooled full time, but I have homeschooled for summer break, homeschooled for winter break, AND homeschooled on many weekends. So my daughter and her cousins definitely experienced the double whammy of me as a teacher mama.

How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?

I was on a Zoom call with some of my fellow author friends! Someone had put my package in an unusual spot, so I didn’t see it until I was on the call. I opened it in front of them, and I just let out this big sigh of relief and a squeal. I like to squeal. It was so validating to actually get it done.

If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?

First of all, “Music” by Eric Sermon featuring Marvin Gaye because The REWRITE Method book set speaks to loving a skill and living in one’s purpose and on purpose. This song shows Eric Sermon using Marvin Gaye’s song to construct another song. It also illustrates his passion for music. Writing helps get people to heart of their desires and manifest their talent.

Another song would be “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story” by Original Broadway Cast of Hamilton. The R.E.W.R.I.T.E. Method impresses upon caregivers the onus to make writing a family activity and a personal activity. A collection of stories, memoirs, lovely tales, and comedies make up the marrow of a family. The stories exist if the next generation tells the saga or not.

The R.E.W.R.I.T.E. Method book set centers on legacy building. It nurtures children’s personal voices and exemplifies for parents and educators how to guide children in recording their unique thoughts and creativity so that they can be the authors of their own stories.

The last song is “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield. This song speaks to the fact that writing helps people create their future. It gives them the canvas for dreams to fuel inspiration and courage to move dreams into reality. The song celebrates the novelty of individuality and embraces flawed humanity.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

I envision readers adjusting how they talk and interact with middle school writers. I know that when they do, they will see a transformation in how their middle schoolers view the skill of writing. My ideal reader is a parent and educator who is open to unlocking the keys to writing enjoyment for teens and tweens. They will use this book as a tool to get to know their students better. In turn, their students will get to know themselves better and be fortified against future challenges.

What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?

The most important part is to give people a solution! This book set provides concrete remedies for the writing frustration plaguing our country. Over 75% of students in grades 4-8 are failing in writing assessments. As an instructional coach, I witnessed this frustration from teachers and students alike. The R.E.W.R.I.T.E. Method book set dedicates the time and resources necessary to change that trend.

What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?

I am working on The R.E.W.R.I.T.E. Method book set for high schoolers, which will be out in 2025.

I am also constantly writing in preparation for my weekly podcast episodes, Falling For Learning. It is a podcast established to support parents and caregivers getting their teens and tweens on track for learning and to stay on track for success. The podcast has been going strong for nearly a year. Listen or watch on and all major podcast platforms!

I have a memoir that I have put on hold every few years that traces my early life in Southern California to growing up in Alaska. My adventures lead to me repeating the cycle of generational teen parenthood while simultaneously becoming a first-generation college graduate.

If you want to reach out to me, go to for more information.

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