It is now mandatory for all seniors to write a letter of appreciation to a former teacher.
This is a new assignment created by Orange County Public Schools for all seniors, and counts as a grade for their English class.
“[It’s] always nice to know you made an impact, especially if you’re an elementary school teacher and haven’t seen a past student for a long time. [If students are] writing a letter explaining what you helped them do or led them into, that’s impactful for a teacher,”senior class council sponsor  Annette Montgomery said. “In a teacher’s world, that’s pretty much why we do what we do.”
While students can pick any teacher former teacher, it’s encouraged to pick an elementary or middle school and a teacher that still works for an OCPS. Students will right 200-400 words that have to meet certain Florida state English standards. OCPS will mail the letters to the teacher of choice.
“The assignment is a good opportunity for students to reconnect with their past teachers and tell them that you made it this far. However, I don’t think OCPS should force everyone to do write one. Since there is a grade attached, it makes the letters sound less sincere and not from the heart,” senior Hannah Bae said .
OCPS mandated the assignment for students to reflect on how the people in their lives helped them get to where they are now.
“I hope that it will make them think about their path and how they got to where they are. The choice that they made was influenced by the people that cared about them not just their parent. Their teachers and coaches also shaped their lives,” Montgomery said.
The letters will be due for a grade at the end of the 9-weeks in senior English classes.

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