National Writing Project

Our Writing and Learning Connect Us: Dolores Perez

Publication: NWP 2007 Annual Report
Date: 2007

Summary: Meet Dolores Perez from Cromack Elementary School, Brownsville, Texas. She is part of the Sabal Palms Writing Project and English Language Learners Network.


"I am as energized and happy about teaching as I was when I entered the classroom 24 years ago," says Dolores Perez. "I owe it to my students to grow professionally so I can give them my best."

Dolores teaches fifth grade at Cromack Elementary School in the border town of Brownsville, Texas, her own birthplace. Most of her students' home language is Spanish. Dolores concentrates on building their academic language in English and on increasing their understanding of mathematics and science through writing.

Based on her experience with the Sabal Palms Writing Project summer institute in 2002, Dolores considers participation in the project essential for teachers. "The writing project helps me keep the bar high. I want my students to surpass all expectations at any college or in any field related to math and science. If they are not afraid to defend their thinking, they will not be afraid to tackle any obstacle that comes their way. The writing project helps me teach my students to think, to process information, and to create new ways of looking at the world."

"Remember, these are the human beings who will one day be responsible for finding alternative fuel sources and cures for diseases, for reducing world hunger and expanding our technological reach. I have to make sure they know how to communicate effectively when they get there!"

Dolores is in her fourth year on the national leadership team of the NWP ELL Network, a network that supports all writing project sites in providing professional development for teachers of English language learners, kindergarten through university. Her dedication to her colleagues is as strong as to her students. "If I can help one teacher, then I have helped at least 24 students. Professional growth is the secret."

Dolores Perez was the keynote speaker at the General Session of the 2008 NWP Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

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