2020 has been one of the most peculiar years for humankind. Who could have imagined that in an age of modern medicine and technology that a disease would have the ability to wreak such massive havoc throughout the entire world and change all of society? No one could have thought that when we first heard reports of “Covid-19” spreading in Wuhan, China, in early 2020, it would eventually reach us in Memphis, Tennessee, nearly 7,632 miles away. Nobody could have predicted the consequences and new life that would result as we watched the beginning of a pandemic unfold. Nonetheless, the pandemic reached us and we had to adjust. Many of us wondered how we would transition to online virtual school. How would we be able to retain the information without face to face interaction?
Pleasant View School has adapted to virtual learning by moving to e-books, changing class structures, and so much more. Teaching remotely has led to some benefits, namely the aforementioned e-books. According to Dr. Malley, the school has been considering the merits of moving from textbooks to online e-books for quite some time. When the change was forcibly accelerated due to COVID-19, the benefits of having an easy to update, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly alternative to physical textbooks became obvious. Alhamdullilah, the transition was only possible due to the diligent preparations of the Pleasant View School administration and teachers over the summer.
Over the summer, teachers received extensive training to establish a smooth and user-friendly transition to a virtual learning environment. Dr. Malley said, “This summer, our staff undertook extensive training from some of the best online providers in the country and they learned the best pedagogies and strategies for online teaching.” By adopting the use of technology through the consolidation of applications like Clever, the transition to online learning became much easier for students. The school’s dedication to achieving excellence while providing the best education for its students allowed for this semester to be excellent regardless of the current circumstances. Students were also able to get personalized one-on-one Quran sessions after school to maintain and improve their quality of recitation and knowledge of the Quran. While we may have lost that face to face interaction, we were still able to overcome the challenges of not having in-person school and continue to succeed and learn in an advanced educational environment. While this year may have been exceedingly difficult, we are making it through this journey. With the arrival of a vaccine, Inshallah, in 2021 we can hope to gradually return to a less restricted way of life. Keep staying positive while trying your best to accomplish your goals no matter what comes your way, and 2021 will be a year we will strive and stay strong, inshAllah.
We would like to thank our teachers, principal, administration, and board members for prioritizing the health of our students and faculty while still providing the best education and learning environment for our students. We appreciate your concern and care for us. We would like to end with a simple message to encourage you all to do the same: please wear a mask and think of the potential consequences of your actions. Do what you can to keep those around you safe.