Are you ready for NCTE 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia, from November 17-20? Presented by the National Council of Teachers of English, this annual event features learning opportunities for educators from all backgrounds—particularly leaders in literacy education.

To help you prepare, we’ve rounded up some of the things we’re most looking forward to at this year’s conference. Take a look at our list of must-do’s, and then share your own in the comments!

At the NCTE 2016 Convention…

NCTE 2016 Panelist Pam Allyn

         Literacy Expert Pam Allyn

1. Discover the MANY ways to be an advocate. Are you interested in advocating for literacy or social change? On behalf of your students or maybe your fellow educators? The theme of this year’s Convention is “Faces of Advocacy.” If you’d like to learn more about driving change, you’ll find guidance and inspiration at NCTE 2016.

2. Listen to a panel discussion on the joy and power of reading. See Kylene Beers, Ernest Morrell, Kwame Alexander and Pam Allyn—all in one place. Expert-to-Expert: On the Joy and Power of Reading promises to be a thought-provoking panel discussion focused on the reading lives of students.

3. Learn how to help students become better speakers and listeners. Don’t miss Kelly Gallagher, Penny Kittle and Harvey “Smokey” Daniels at Advocating for Speaking and Listening: the Power of Talk in the Digital Age. Arrive early because we expect this session to fill quickly!

4. Hear how other teachers balance the personal and professional. Booksource peer advisor Kevin English will be part of the panel discussion, Doing More Isn’t Doing Better: How to Be a Teacher and Have a Life. Learn more about finding time for yourself, while still meeting the needs of your students.

5. See S.E. Hinton at the ALAN Breakfast. Love The Outsiders? Author S.E. Hinton is at NCTE this year, and she’ll be the keynote speaker at the ALAN Breakfast on Saturday. (Note that while this event is open to all NCTE attendees, it is not included in regular registration.)

6. Create connections on Twitter. Be sure you’re following both @ncte and the official #NCTE16 hashtag. And don’t forget to follow us @TheBooksource too. We’ll be live-tweeting from the Convention, sharing key takeaways from our favorite sessions and speakers.

7. Explore the Exhibit Hall. How else can you stay up-to-date on all the latest educational resources available to you? The Exhibit Hall is also a great place to chat with friends and network with colleagues—and of course, collect freebies too!

NCTE 2016 Giveaway The Association of Small Bombs

NCTE 2016 Book GiveawayNCTE 2016 Book Giveaway8. Get a free copy of The Association of Small Bombs for your classroom library. While you’re in the Exhibit Hall, be sure to swing by and see us in booth #629. We have 100 copies of this powerful title to give away on a first-come, first-served basis.

We’ll also be giving away copies of The Boys in the Boat: The True Story of an American Team’s Epic Journey to Win Gold at the 1936 Olympics (Grades 9-A, Lexile 1260) and Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets (Grades 9-12, Lexile HL 710).

What’s better than free books for your classroom library?!?

9. Request a custom quote. Speaking of classroom libraries, we’d love to help you build or grow yours. Tell us a bit about your current needs when you stop by our booth, and one of our title experts will contact you with a customized list of book recommendations.

And while you’re in Atlanta…

NCTE 2016 Things to Do in Atlanta

                           The Center for Human and Civil Rights in Atlanta, Georgia

10. Explore all that downtown Atlanta has to offer. NCTE 2016 is being held at the Georgia World Congress Center, in the heart of downtown Atlanta. Convention planners have put together a comprehensive roundup of links to everything you need to know about this year’s host city.

11. Visit the Center for Human and Civil Rights. Given the importance of diversity and equity in education, the Center for Human and Civil Rights is an Atlanta destination that educators will want to explore. You may also want to visit the Sweet Auburn Historic District, which reflects the rich history of Atlanta’s African-American community.

12. Grab a cup of coffee with new friends and colleagues. Have a little downtime between sessions? Visit one of Atlanta’s hottest new coffee shops to relax and unwind while chatting all things literacy and advocacy with your fellow teachers and educators.

What are you most looking forward to at NCTE 2016? Tell us in the comments!