Planning for the Conference

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When you see the list of speakers and consider all of the benefits for professional growth, you get excited about the possibility of attending the NCSS conference in St. Louis, but finding the funding in limited budgets can be a challenge. Here are a few tips to help convince your supervisor you should attend the conference.

Why Should You Attend?

The NCSS Annual Conference is the nation's largest, most prestigious, and most comprehensive professional development event for social studies educators. With more than 500 sessions offering new ideas and classroom-ready lessons at all grade levels, covering History, Economics, Geography, Civics, and Social Sciences, the conference will help you discover new resources, changing technologies, and compelling and relevant information. It will allow you to meet and learn from colleagues from around the United States and beyond. It will help you to inspire you and invigorate your career. All in just three days!

Since you've found this page, you probably recognize the value of attending the NCSS Annual Conference, so we'd like to offer some assistance to help you convince your principal and school district to approve the expense. We've listed some general tips for making your case and attached a sample letter that you can adapt for your circumstances. If you succeed or have other suggestions, please let us know.

General Tips

Many school budgets have been slashed and professional development money has been reduced drastically. All of this means that regardless of the merits of the conference, you'll probably need to justify the expense. Here are some things you might want to consider:

* Focus on what you will specifically learn and bring back to your classroom or to your research.

* Offer to prepare and deliver a short presentation to your colleagues who did not attend to share what you learned.

* Share the materials you received.

* Use the sample letter attached below to make your request.

* Build your conference schedule by using the list of sessions (coming in summer), so your principal can see what you will be attending and learning.

Budgeting Tips

Develop a budget to estimate your conference expenses. Here are some suggestions on how to manage your costs.

* Make your hotel reservation early. Your credit card won't be charged, and you can cancel your room until September 20, 2013 without penalty. Bring a colleague with whom you can double up. Click here for the details.

* Next month make your plane reservation. As soon as the charge appears on your credit card, pay it off.

* In July or August, register for the conference, and, as soon as the charge appears on your credit card, pay it off.

* In October or November, when these bills are paid, put aside some cash for conference expenses so that it will be available when you arrive in St. Louis.

* After the conference, the only remaining bill to pay will be the hotel. Yes, it will be December and you will have holiday expenses to consider, but you will also be smiling because you planned ahead and have already paid for the airline, the registration and conference expenses. You will have learned new ideas, gathered new resources, met many new colleagues, and been inspired by an extraordinary group of educators at the greatest social studies professional development program available, and still be financially sound as you prepare for the new year.

Start today! See you in St. Louis!

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Support letter.doc31.5 KB
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