I may be wrong but it seems like Allen has the advantage of having the same students all day which would allow for more conference time with each individual student. I may be wrong again but I think conferring with students at any grade level on a regular basis is a terrific idea. From the examples Allen showed his students felt like the conference time made them feel like their teacher really cared about them and really cared if they learned and how they were doing as people, not just as students. With the changes that occur as children age I think older students also need to feel like someone is in their corner and genuinely cares for them.
As one who wants to teach 7-12 obstacles I see are having too many students in each class and having too many classes, making multiple productive personal conferences with each student to time consuming to attempt. Older students may have jobs or extra-curricular activities they focus on instead of classwork. Pressure from administrators who don’t want to see instruction time spent on what they see as a non-instructive activity. A curriculum so packed that any delay in getting through a lesson or unit means rushing through the next one. More of a focus on taking mandatory tests than learning. Students who have reached the point in their life that if they don’t want to do something they just won’t.
The only one-to-one conferences I can remember having with teachers came at the college level. These involved the professor talking to students about the work they were doing on the main research project for the semester. These benefitted me because I felt like the professor actually did care if I did the assignment and actually wanted me to do quality work. I came out of these meetings more focused on the task and more motivated to complete it.
I have not had one-to-one conferences with students in the role of the teacher.