This Story Matters Teacher Corps - National Council of Teachers of English


Announcing the This Story Matters Teacher Corps participants! Thank you to all who applied for this opportunity.

The participants were selected from a national pool of NCTE members from across the United States. The members bring nearly 150 years of collective experience at all levels of education. Their goal over the next several months will be to expand the NCTE book rationale database with dozens of new and high-demand titles.


Meet the 2023–2024 This Story Matters Teacher Corps

Annamary Consalvo, associate professor of literacy at The University of Texas at Tyler, teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in teacher education, literature, and research methods. Scholarly interests include the teaching of writing, youth voice, and ways in which young adult literature can be used to open critical conversations. She is serving as the This Story Matters Teacher Corps Facilitator.



Tanisha Boyd is a middle school district literacy instructional leader for Mobile County Public Schools. She has dedicated more than 20 years to education, with 19 years in the classroom. The majority of her career was spent in the middle school ELA classroom. She has participated in digital learning committees within her district as well as being a contributing ELA curriculum writer. A large focus of her position is helping teachers improve instructional practices through increased student engagement. She is also a recurring presenter at the Middle School Language Arts Summit. Recently, she became a fellow of the first annual cohort of the Learning for Justice: Teaching Hard History.



Kyle Belting Hi! I’m Kyle Belting, and I’m in my ninth year of teaching middle school English language arts. I have been a reader my whole life and enjoy sharing that passion with students; there is nothing better than helping someone find the book that gets them excited to read. When I’m not teaching, I hang out with my dog, Ralph, and spend time practicing yoga, baking, volunteering at a local bookstore, and exploring all the awesome things to do (and eat) in Indianapolis.




Mary E. Cronin’s Massachusetts teaching career spans more than 30 years, from preschool to college. Cronin’s poetry for adults has been featured in The New York Times, Rise Up Review, Radical Teacher, and Provincetown Magazine. A K–2 literacy coach in the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional Schools on Cape Cod and a dedicated 5 a.m. writer, her poetry for children has appeared in numerous anthologies for young readers. Cronin has two children’s books under contract, yet to be announced. You can find her at


Linda Hindman I am a veteran English language arts teacher of nineteen years from West Virginia with National Board Certification in English language arts, early adolescence. I have a BA in English from Bethany College and an MA in reading education from Marshall University. I am also a certified Reading Specialist. I have taught English language arts to students from sixth to eleventh grades. I am an advocate for reading in my classes, and I have developed a knack for matching books with readers. This is important because many of my students are reluctant readers or nonreaders. I value the freedom of choice of reading materials for all my students. I am passionate about speaking out against and fighting book challenges and bans because they limit access to information, diminish the ability to know all sides of an issue, and hinder personal growth.


Delicia Keeton is an English teacher in Virginia with 20 years of experience. Currently she is teaching grade 11 English, but she has taught English in grades 9 and 10, as well as AP Language and Composition. She graduated from Hampton University with a bachelor of arts in English and from Virginia Commonwealth University with a master’s in education. She has been a National Board Certified Teacher since 2012. In her free time she likes being with family and friends, hanging out at the beach or on the lake, and (of course) reading.






The NCTE This Story Matters Teacher Corps

In an effort to more vigorously expand our book rationale database, NCTE is announcing a new members-only opportunity for educators to get involved in this work: the This Story Matters Teacher Corps. This project, made possible by private donations, will help NCTE to increase the size and functionality of the database through collaboration with members of the Corps and NCTE staff. As a Teacher Corps member, you will gain a deeper understanding of the importance of book rationales and learn how to create them more effectively.  

All students have the right to materials and educational experiences that promote open inquiry, critical thinking, diversity in thought and expression, and respect for others. Through the NCTE Intellectual Freedom Center, our organization has created and collected peer-reviewed book rationales for decades to aid all NCTE members in the face of book challenges. 

This opportunity is open to all NCTE member literacy educators, and we encourage K–12 teachers to apply. A stipend of $1,500 will be provided to each Corps member. 

Responsibilities will include: 

  • Writing eight new rationales and reviewing additional rationales
  • Collaborating during monthly one-hour meetings with fellow members and NCTE staff 
  • Reading or re-reading titles of books under consideration 
  • Recommending additional ways to increase database functionality  

Having a passion for and commitment to texts and students is at the core of this opportunity, requiring deep thinking and dedicated time for the Corps. Work will take place from  November 1, 2023, through July 31, 2024.


View the rationale database, accessible to NCTE members, that can be searched by title, author, and grade level to help you (educators) find a rationale for a book you plan to use in the classroom or one that is being challenged.

View example rationales

The database includes these important resources: downloadable book rationales, an updated How to Write a Rational template created by the Standing Committee Against Censorship, and steps to follow for educators preparing for or facing censorship.