Freshmen Transition from Zoom to the Halls of Dimond

Up until this quarter, freshmen have had to navigate this school year at Dimond High School online.

Most freshmen had never actually been inside of Dimond before this quarter. 

Katherine Lindsey, a language arts and social studies teacher at Dimond, said, “It kind of felt like we were the kids’ only connection to Dimond.”

Although students can potentially see and hear each other on Zoom calls, interaction during class has been limited even for students that have returned to Dimond this quarter. 

Lindsey said, there’s “definitely a lot less chattiness.”  

This school year has been incredibly unique and unlike anything most students and teachers have experienced before. 

Lindsey said, “It’s like living through history.”

Even though there was Zoom during class periods for all students before this quarter, there was more flexibility when it came to when students could get their work done. 

Dimond Freshman Kolter Kalt, who is in-person this quarter, said, “After a Zoom call, I would wait a couple hours and then do my homework.

“I didn’t feel like I needed to do it right away, but now that I’m in school, I feel like I need to do it right away.”

Teachers had to get creative when it came to how they were going to teach the class as well as how they were going to have their students participate. 

Kalt said, “Doing labs or science experiments was hard because we didn’t have the objects we needed to do the experiments, so it was a little stressful having our teachers come up with all these different ways of having us do things.”

Dealing with online school could be lot of pressure on students, especially because this was a must for all students at Dimond for the majority of this school year.   

Kalt said, “I really didn’t rush myself. I took my time, and I asked for help if I needed it.

“I didn’t feel like I needed to rush and do things because I was in a comfortable environment that I had grown up in.”

Freshmen who decided to come to Dimond in person this quarter were essentially having their first day of school over halfway through the school year.

Kalt said, “I was used to the people in my classes already even though we weren’t in person, and I was used to the teachers. So I wasn’t really affected by the anxiety of having to go back to school for the first time.”

Students and their families have their own reasons for coming or not coming back to school this quarter, but one overall struggle for students working online is not being in an actual classroom. At school, distractions are minimal compared to at home, and students can see their teachers without having to use a screen.

Kalt said, “I just needed that social aspect of a teacher actually teaching me in person instead of over a screen.”

Another struggle for students is a support system that looks much different this year. This especially applies to freshmen because they are new to Dimond and have had to meet everyone over a screen. 

Dimond Freshman Evelyn Hernandez said, “I would say my support system looks kind of just like my family. It’s just my two brothers and my Mom and Dad. Other than that, maybe my friends sometimes.”

One lesson online school has definitely taught students is how to manage their time. They have all had to learn how to juggle Zoom meetings with family commitments.

Before this quarter, all students had to manage their course load without being in a school building. 

Hernandez said, “I’ve had to get better at managing my time and spacing out my work so I can get it done.”