As crazy as 2020 has been, Jameelah Wright, Alpha Chapter, was determined to find the silver linings, whether big or small. So, in March, when school buildings closed due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, and she and her team of teachers had to figure out a way to teach prekindergarten students virtually, she had an idea. Since her school (teachers and families) was already connected schoolwide on ClassDojo, it would be a seamless transition from in-person to virtual instruction. Crisis averted. As a student in Montclair State University’s Teacher Education and Teacher Development program, her classes also shifted to an online format, so not a single beat was missed in the pursuit of her doctoral degree.
That same month, Jameelah learned that she would be awarded a fellowship from the alumnae organization of her alma mater, Douglass College, Rutgers University. The Julia Baxter Bates Fellowship was named for the first Black student admitted into Douglass College, and Jameelah was truly humbled and honored to obtain it. Also, as result of receiving the fellowship, she was featured in the alumnae organization’s digital newsletter. A few weeks later, in April, she learned that she would also be awarded a scholarship from the Pi Lambda Theta honor society.
Also in April, Jameelah received word that a proposal she submitted for a webinar for the Council of Professional Recognition (CDA Council) had been accepted, and that she would be facilitating Finding Our Voices: Awakening the Inner Advocates and Activists in ECE Teachers in August. In the midst of all the madness on top of a global pandemic, such as the racial unrest and political strife, it was the small wins that gave Jameelah hope and kept stress and anxiety at bay. Towards the end of summer, she learned that a book she had contributed to, The New Teacher’s Guide to Overcoming Common Challenges, would be out in October. In October Jameelah opened an email from the American Educational Research Association (AERA) informing her that her paper “Drawing Conclusions about Writing in Preschool” had been accepted for presentation at the 2021 national conference. And in November, Jameelah was notified by the university that she passed her qualifying exams and was officially a doctoral candidate! She is looking forward to more small wins and silver linings in the new year.