Editor’s note: This article is from “The Voice,” the Observer’s student news section.

After experiencing a week of virtual learning during the first week of February, it is no surprise that students were reminded of their time in quarantine and then revisiting the memories of virtual learning.

It was a difficult time for all students, and for most, finding the balance between your responsibilities as a student and the responsibility to yourself is challenging. There are many ways students can keep themselves from being burned out by school and ways schools can implement these practices as well.

One way is to move around your home or school; make sure that you are not stuck in the same environment for too long.

RRHS student Tora Timmons said, “I absolutely love going on walks and clearing my head; it helps even more when I listen to music and walk at the same time!”

RRHS senior Victoria Lovato commented, “I really enjoy doodling and playing video games like Animal Crossing to get my mind off of things; the repetitiveness of both helps take my mind off of what’s stressing me out.”

Even when asking Rio Rancho staff members, they all agree that students’ wellbeing comes first.

When asked how a teacher views a student’s mental health versus school, Spanish teacher Andrea Padilla said, “Well, the pacing of each class is different, and students experience fatigue and burn out quicker or slower than others. It’s my job as a teacher to know my students well enough to see if they are struggling with the

concepts we are learning in class or not, and it’s my responsibility to then shift the lesson to cater to them. Adaptability is key.”

Padilla says it’s a teacher’s responsibility to check up on her students from time to time to make sure they are doing OK with everything in and out of the classroom.

“Especially when we are in virtual learning, I send out weekly Google forms that are only about the student’s mental health and stress levels regarding my class,” Padilla said. “From there, I am able to see what periods may need a down day or what-not… Not every moment of every day needs to be productive.”

Even school districts are recognizing the importance of taking breaks in order to help boost morale for all students and staff. Cincinnati Public Schools was one, as their football team was in this year’s Super Bowl.

That school district posted on its Facebook page, “In honor of the Bengals’ first Super Bowl appearance since 1988, CPS will not have school on Monday, Feb. 14.”

All of this is a trickle-down effect that reassures staff, which helps reassure students on their ability to still enjoy things while they are still a student. All these little things add up eventually and, slowly but surely, students may be able to soon start seeing that their presence as people matters just as much as their class rank.

Editor’s note