Conferences give us new ideas and strategies plus opportunities to network (and fun swag!). Because of the pandemic, there are a lot of virtual options. So it’s easier and less expensive to go! How do you decide what conference is for you? First, consider your goals. Then, think about your students’ needs. Finally, what excites you? I know you don’t have a ton of time to research, so in chronological order, here are 21 education conferences you won’t want to miss in 2021.

Learning and the Brain: The Science of Teaching During a Pandemic

Are your students checking out during distance learning? Are you looking for ways to make learning fun? If so, this session is a must attend! You’ll learn pandemic teaching best practices rooted in brain research. 

  • Date(s): February 20, 2021, 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. ET
  • Virtual or in person: Virtual
  • Cost: $219 (General registration through February 12, 2021), $239 (Late registration after February 12, 2021)

The Reading and Writing Project: Teachers College of Columbia: Black Creator Series

A free virtual series? Yes, please! The Teachers College of Columbia and Candlewood Press are hosting this event to highlight Black authors and illustrators’ works. You’ll learn about each author’s work, and how to use it in your classroom. 

  • Date(s): February 16, 2021: Frederick Joseph, Author of The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person
  • March 16, 2021: Kekla Magoon, Co-author of X: A Novel
  • April 20, 2021: Sophia Thakur, Author of Somebody Give This Heart a Pen
  • May 18, 2021; Michael S. Bandy, Co-author of Northbound: A Train Ride Out of Segregation, illustrated by James E. Ransome
  • June 15, 2021: T. R. Simon & Victoria Bond, Co-authors of the Zora and Me trilogy
  • Virtual or in person: Virtual
  • Cost: Free

Leading and Learning Beyond Covid 19

This one is for district leaders. The goal: build a long-term pandemic leadership strategy. This conference isn’t a sit and get. You’ll collaborate with other district leaders. One note: district leaders must apply to attend. 

  • Date(s): February 26, 2021
  • Virtual or in person: Virtual
  • Cost: Not listed

MidSchoolMath Virtual National Conference

Jo Boaler is a must see at this conference! It’s a great fit for middle school math teachers. 

  • Date(s): March 5-6, 2021
  • Virtual or in person: Virtual
  • Cost: $50-65

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) 2021 Convention & Expo

This one has awesome speakers. I want to hear Dr. Tyrone Howard, an expert on educational access and equity. Plus, there are over 300 on-demand sessions, live, interactive sessions, and more.

  • Date(s): March 8-13, 2021
  • Virtual or in person: Virtual
  • Cost: Nonmember: $349 (Discounts for members)

Reaching High Expectations: Success for All

Want to learn about how to focus on “every student, everyday”? Added bonus: live and pre-recorded sessions so you can tune in when it works best for you. I’m most excited about UDL, classroom technology, and teacher self-care!

  • Date(s): March 18-19, 2021
  • Virtual or in person: Virtual
  • Cost: $190 (Before February 20, 2021), $225 (After February 20, 2021). Discounted tickets available for full-time students and parents of a student with a disability
  • Proposal due date: January 17, 2021

Teacher Self Care Conference

 Are you looking to refill your tank? If so, go to this conference. The goal: rejuvenate and inspire. Learn strategies and best practices so you can stay in teaching for the long haul. 

  • Date(s): March 19-20, 2021
  • Virtual or in person: Virtual
  • Cost: Free

(TESOL) International Convention and English Language Expo

The 2021 TESOL virtual convention is an international event. A one-of-kind opportunity for TESOL teachers, you do not want to miss keynote speaker, James E. Alatis Plenary, creator of Courageous Conversations!

  • Date(s): March 24-27, 2021
  • Virtual or in person: Virtual
  • Cost:
  • TESOL Member $149 (Before March 1, 2021), $185 (After March 1, 2021)
  • Nonmember $230 (Before March 1, 2021), $230 (After March 1, 2021)

World Education Summit

There’s something for everyone at this conference. Q&A sessions, keynote speakers, practical workshops, and case studies. Still not convinced? The speaker list is full of the best of the best. Don’t miss an opportunity to hear from education experts, John Hattie, Carol Ann Tomlinson, and more. 

  • Date(s): March 22-25, 2021
  • Virtual or in person: Virtual
  • Cost: $250
  • Proposal due date: Not applicable

Innovative Schools Summit: Learning Loss Virtual

This virtual summit will focus on learning loss strategies. So, it’s at the top of our list. I can’t wait for the breakout sessions. I love learning from other teachers. 

  • Date(s): March 26, 2021
  • Virtual or in person: Virtual
  • Cost: $169 (Before February 26, 2021)

HGSE: Developing Strategies for Online Teaching and Learning

This four-week online workshop supports us to plan strategies for online teaching and learning. If you’re looking for new strategies for pandemic teaching, this is the workshop for you. 

  • Date(s): April 14-May 11, 2021
  • Virtual or in person: Virtual 4-week online workshop
  • Cost: $295

Learning and the Brain: Teaching Purposeful Brains

Students are stressed out. We are too. If you are looking for ways to support your students, go to this conference. You will use research to provide strategies for helping students (and you!) thrive during these uncertain times.

  • Date(s): April 17-18, 2021, 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. ET (April 17th), 9:00 a.m.-6:30 p.m. ET (April18th)
  • Virtual or in person: Virtual
  • Cost: $299 (Early registration through March 12, 2021), $318 (Registration March 13, 2021 through April 9, 2021), $339 (Late registration after April 9, 2021)

NSTA (National Science Teaching Association) Engage: Spring 21

Dive into hot topics like Social-Emotional Learning in the Science Classroom, Supporting Equity in the Science Classroom, Continuing Effective Distance Learning Strategies Post-COVID, and more. Connect with your fellow science teachers!

  • Date(s): April 12-17, 2021
  • Elementary: April 19-24, 2021
  • Middle: April 26-May 1, 2021
  • High School:
  • Virtual or in person: Virtual
  • Cost:
  • All grade level pass
    Member: $255 (Early registration through February 22, 2021), $285 (After February 22, 2021) 
    Nonmember: $305 (Early registration through February 22, 2021), $335 (After February 22, 2021)
  • Single grade level pass
    Member: $85 (Early registration through February 22, 2021), $95 (After February 22, 2021) 
    Nonmember: $135 (Early registration through February 22, 2021), $145 (After February 22, 2021)
  • Proposal due date: February 16, 2021

YouCubed: Mindset Mathematics

This conference, featuring the work of Jo Boaler, teaches us how to teach math with a growth mindset. It’s best for K-12 teachers. The focus: content and pedagogy anchored in doing the math.

  • Date(s): June 15-16, 2021
  • Virtual or in person: In person, Stanford, Calif.
  • Cost: $995

The Reading and Writing Project: Teachers College of Columbia: Writing Institute

The Teachers College of Columbia writing institute has been around for 30 years! If you use Writer’s Workshop or want to learn all about it, sign up!

  • Date(s): June 21-25, 2021, July 12-16, 2021, August 3-6, 2021 (select one week to attend)
  • Virtual or in person: Virtual
  • Cost: Details available mid-February

ASCD Annual Conference

This annual conference is all about getting ready for a new school year. Plus, you get to customize your experience. There are hundreds of sessions. There are inspiring speakers like Ruby Bridges and Bernice A. King. And the sessions! I want to go to From Stuck to Sticky: Building a Village to Teach a Child.

  • Date(s): June 23-25, 2021
  • Virtual or in person: Virtual
  • Cost: ASCD Member: $179, ASCD Nonmember: $149

ISTELive 21

ISTE’s mission is to support educators to transform learning using technology. You’ll learn about how to use technology to make virtual learning more engaging. With live sessions and on-demand access for 6 months, this conference is a lot of bang for the buck. 

  • Date(s): June 26-30, 2021
  • Virtual or in person: Virtual
  • Cost:Member: $155 (Early bird March 2-May 1, 2021), $175 (After May 1, 2021)
  • Nonmember: $165 (Early bird March 2-May 1, 2021), $195 (After May 1, 2021)
  • Proposal due date: Exhibitor application open mid-February

The Reading and Writing Project: Teachers College of Columbia: Reading Institute

This institute will share strategies for reading, phonics (at the lower levels), classroom structures, and more. This is a good one if you would like to improve literacy instruction in your classroom next school year.

  • Date(s): June 28-July 2, 2021, July 19-23, 2021, August 9-13, 2021 (select one week to attend)
  • Virtual or in person: Virtual
  • Cost: Details available mid-February

NNSTOY: Time to Lead: Rejuvenate, Innovate, Advocate

Join other teacher leaders to think about pandemic leadership. Engage with other teachers and learn more about charging forward during this time.

  • Date(s): July 14-16, 2021
  • Virtual or in person: Virtual
  • Cost: Not listed
  • Proposal due date: February 7, 2021

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Regional Conferences

NCTM’s regional conferences give math teachers a chance to work together. Based on their 8 Practices, this is a practical and exciting conference for math teachers. Note: NCTM hosts regional conferences. For other regions, please review their website for conferences in 2022.

  • Date(s): October 27, 2021
  • Virtual or in person: In person, Phoenix
  • Cost: Not listed
  • Proposal due date: March 1, 2021

National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Annual Convention

This conference is all about highlighting best practices for teaching literacy, language, and composition. This year’s theme is equity, justice, and antiracist teaching, a critical focus for all of us.

  • Date(s): November 19-21, 2021
  • Virtual or in person: In person, Louisville subject to change
  • Cost: Not listed
  • Proposal due date: January 19, 2021

Stay tuned. we will keep updating this list as new conferences pop up! 

What other conferences should be on our radar? Share in the comments below.

Want more articles like this? Subscribe to our newsletter

21 Education Conferences To Check Out in 2021