Question: What's the difference between a school open house and parent teacher conferences?
Answer: The short answer to this question is that school open house is a time for all parents and a conference is a time for individual parents. The longer answer about the difference between a school open house and parent teacher conferences lies in purpose.
The purpose of an Open House is for parents and students to have a brief time to get acquainted with the teacher (or teachers), see the classroom and perhaps get a quick overview of class expectations and curriculum for the year. Open House is usually held right before school begins or the within the first two weeks of school. It is not an appropriate time to speak to the teacher about your child's specific needs or your concerns.
The parent teacher conference is the time to speak to the teacher about your child. Conferences are typically held after school has been in session for a few months. This gives teachers enough time to perform any routine screenings and to get to know your child and his strengths and weaknesses a little bit better. Conferences are designed to give you some one-on-one time with your child's teacher and are the perfect time to discuss concerns and/or create an action plan to help your child do his best work during the school year.