ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- Teachers talked about their mental health struggles and those of their students in a second panel focused on middle and high school. The panel was a follow up to Tuesday’s panel on elementary schools.

Teachers talked about making sure they connected with students and tried to keep them motivated during the spring school shut down. They also talked about the positive aspects of remote learning and the challenges of maintaining a work/life balance.

A poll at the beginning of the panel asked attending teachers what they thought the biggest challenge for students was, 57% of them said serving the mental health needs of students. Meeting the academic needs of students was the second most popular answer with 13%.

Copenhagen Central High School English teacher, Lori Atkinson, said remote learning gave teachers more freedom to use alternative means of educating. She said her school district pressed forward with final exams and projects. Atkinson said students rose to the challenge by producing exceptional work.

Burnt Hills- Ballston Lake High School health educator, Lindsay Armbruster, said there were many positive things to come out of remote learning. More sleep for students/teachers, exploring/learning new technology, and better communication with students through Google Docs or email are some of the examples Armbruster gave.

Bronx Academy for Software Engineering English teacher, Jonathan Montero, said his school will be focusing on mastery-based grading and hitting socio-emotional targets as well as academic targets. Mastery based grading assesses a student’s ability through outcomes or goals, according to