Where I teach we do not use the traditional Parent-Teacher Interview format. Instead, we use the Student Led Conference format.
In this format students prepare assessment materials that they are proud of and need to improve on. They share these materials with their parents, and explain what their action plan is to improve in their self-selected areas of need.
This format takes the pressure off the teacher to talk for fifteen, twenty or thirty minutes about the student, and put the responsibility on the student to know themselves as a learner, and to be able to express their thoughts and opinions.
1-Students search through their desks, binders and locker to collect all of their assessment materials (success criteria, rubrics, feedback sheets, tests, assignments).
2- Students file this work into their assessment folders (I use a plain file folder).
3- Students examine each piece of work in their folders and select 2 items to demonstrate their successes and 2 items for their next steps (depending on the number of subjects in your curriculum students might select more than 4 pieces).
4-Students use reflection sheets to think critically analyze their chosen pieces.
5- After these reflection sheets, students use a Student Led Conference graphic organizer to, jot down their ideas about what they want to share with their families during the conference.
6- Students rehearse showing their “parents” (other students) their assessment folders, and explaining their thoughts about their progress thus far in the year.
7- The day of the conference the students use the assessment folders and graphic organizers to explain to their parents about their academic progress.
8- During and after the conference the parents can ask their child or the teacher questions they may have about their child’s progress. I usually have very few questions because the students have outlined in detail their strengths and next steps.