About the Pen

Warning…I’m a HUGGER…

Therefore, this tab will help you get to know me, but you will get to know ALL of me because there’s no such thing as personal cyberspace at The Global Pen.  While I deeply value professionalism, and while virtually every decision I make orbits around this value, I am also inherently human.  I have a heart.  And for the most part, I have a pretty soft soul.  So my professional teaching blog will get personal for these very human reasons.

I invite you to put the red pen down, pick up your tolerance for occasional nonsense, and shake my hand…nah, gimme a HUG.  Welcome to my World.  The door is always open 😉

The Global Pen is Born…

My #1 inspiration :-)

My #1 inspiration 🙂

The genesis of this blog began with the genesis of my first born.  In the summer of 2012, just prior to my daughter’s birth, I decided to nest everything in my house, including my laptop.  I literally organized every electronic file I owned…

And as I did so, I thought about the close-knit relationship I’ve had with my career up to this point.  As I prepared to spend every waking moment hovering over the crib of my little gift from heaven, I reflected on how I had spent every waking moment prior hovering over the teacher’s desk in my classroom…

I’d spent every morning, noon, and many a late evening on my high school campus planning lessons, working with students, meeting with colleagues, grading essays, designing activities.  I never left without my totebag in hand or my nerdy cart-on-wheels rolling behind me, either of which always overflowing with the paper trail I grew to appreciate so much.

Would it all change with the pitter-patter of little feet?  Of course it would!  And I absolutely couldn’t wait to give her full dominion over my world.  But sulking in the corner was my career, pouting at the thought of having to share.  So I knew I had to find–dare I say it–balance between work and play…

Since my call to motherhood was top priority, I decided to compromise with said injured career by making myself virtually available; I began drafting plans to put my electronic blood, sweat, and teacher tears online.  That way I could continue to enjoy my career, but without sacrificing the joy of being a new mom.

Not to mention, I’ve wanted to be a writer my whole life.  If you ask my oldest, dearest friend from childhood, she would tell you the same.  It’s a dream I’ve been chasing since I picked up my first pen and scrawled that first story in hot pink ink at the mere age of 7 (true story).  Problem is, I never really let anyone read those electric pink lines…the age-old fear that they wouldn’t be good enough was just. too. risky…

So at 7 months prego, my daughter taught me the first of many lessons in the bold disregard of all things frightening.  She taught me to LEAP because the universe would undoubtedly catch me.  I could hear the echoing (literally) within:

“you will teach your daughter to dream big…how will you show her the importance of following your heart?  You can’t hide behind being a writing teacher forever, Jill…you need to BE a writer.  Raize those thoughts of rejection to the ground.  Obliterate fear!  Let your daughter see, firsthand, what it means to persevere, to be passionate about what you love, and to be active in seeking out happiness in its purest form…

It was this nudging (again, literally) from within that inspired me to bring my blog into this world… 

On June 18th, 2012 at 4:56 p.m., weighing in at 114 words and 2 hyperlinks, the first page of the Global Pen was born.

And on August 17th at 10:36 p.m., weighing in at 7 pounds and 9 ounces, Willow Scott Pavich was born.

IMG_8793And…three years later, on July 23rd at 9:18 a.m., weighing in at 8 pounds even, Phoenix Kent has since been born.  (It was during my pregnancy with him that I signed my contract ever to publish…yes, publish!…the first-ever General Paper textbook,
written by yours truly, will hit the Cambridge University Press catalog in 2017! #bucketlist, check!)

Today I’m the proud mother of two unbelievable babies, both of which I’ve been dreaming about my entire life.  And at the same time, I’m living my dream of being a writer.  How ’bout that…

Entirely cheesy, but entirely human!

Again, welcome to my world.  All of it.  Where the lines of work and play are occasionally grayed simply because, face it, HUMOR and a YOUNG HEART are the only ways we’ll survive this profession!

Now put your house slippers on, grab a warm cup, and let’s get our collaboration on.

Most Genuinely,

Jill Pavich, NBCT

Creator of The Global Pen Dot Com



15 responses

  1. Hi Jill. I attended the GP Best Practices on June 21. Want you to know how much help the workshop provided and how much more excited I am about teaching GP. I taught Pre-AICE English last year, so this is an experiment to see how some of the Pre-AICE students do with the same teacher for GP. Since we are still experiencing wind and rain over here thought it would be a good day to wander through your blog.
    My first question is this … you mentioned using Gates as a diagnostic tool. My school stopped using it quite a few years ago, but I like it for my own classroom purposes. Can you tell me where I can find it? The copies I have are old and almost unreadable.
    My second question is … can you suggest how to get admin to buy into the importance of purchasing individual Upfront Magazine issues for each student (no pun intended!)? Thanks – I look forward to using this site and GP. I hope you know how much of a help you are to so many of us!


    1. Hi, Terri!

      Thanks for the kind words. It’s great to hear that the workshop made an impact 🙂

      My Gates copies are old and unreadable too, lol. I hope to type mine up electronically for preservation’s sake (since I believe it an ‘oldie but goodie’ tool!), so I’d be happy to float you a copy once I compose. I promise it will be before the school year begins, so you’ll be ready for School Day 1.

      As for the Upfront subscription, perhaps talking to your princiPAL about the current budget situation. Gently remind him/her that there are virtually NO textbook materials for GP since the content spans the curriculum, so this is your textbook investment (cheaper than buying hardbacks, right?!). Reassure him/her that in having consumable copies, students are gaining valuable reading and test taking skills by practicing the Active Reading/Annotation strategies I mentioned at the workshop; also, since FCAT is 70% non-fiction, this magazine caters well to this preparation! Maybe even show off the many ways you can use an Upfront (FCAT, vocab, notetaking strategies, visuals, etc.)

      Ultimately, a copy for every child is ideal.

      At minimum, however, a class set would still be a valuable resource because the kiddies have a physical copy IN COLOR in front of them; they can see it, they can touch it, they can manipulate it (which promotes a level of freedom on their part, by the way, since they get to choose which article to peruse). You can always draft up materials and create activities where they reference the mag then transfer responses to a separate handout–such as a graphic organizer–or onto a project–such as a giant post-it note illustration.

      If a budget is simply not available for this (“these rough, economic times!”), perhaps invest in your own, personal subscription…that way you have access to the online version, which you could project on the overhead at least as a discussion starter (and a listening activity!).

      Before you chat with boss, perhaps do some pricing of your own; consider how many copies you would need max/min and call Scholastic to see what they can do for you. The reps there are very helpful and willing to work with us 🙂 I’ve had great experiences in placing orders through them.

      Let me know how the conversation pans out. I’m SO glad to hear from you and I hope you’ll keep up communication through the Global Pen henceforward!


      1. Terri St John

        Thanks for the suggestions. I have already made the pitch to our AICE coordinator and my department chair. My AP who was in charge of AICE is now a principal elsewhere. But I did appreciate knowing that my pitch was on target! A Gates copy would be wonderful.
        A great resource for writing topics is the National Forensic League website. http://www.nflonline.org They have extemporaneous speaking topics posted for both national and international events. They work well for writing and debating. Another source is called Speech Geeks.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. If they still say no, see if you can do an AICE fundraiser at the beginning of the year to raise a budget for materials, perhaps? Or chat with parents/guardians to see if they are opposed to subscribing at home? I’ve never written a grant for ed supplies but maybe this could be a source of dough?

        I come from the land of spoiled, I guess, where this hasn’t yet been an obstacle for me so you have just inspired my very first Weekly/Teacher Feature…stay tuned for the post and some financial problem-solving!

        Also, idebate.org is an excellent jumping off point for student research and it houses endless debate topics with two-sided views for each. Highly recommend!! 🙂


  2. Jill, I found this site on the web, and I think it could be a useful resource for GP:

    http://generalpaper. wordpress.com/

    In particular, check out the ‘et cetera’ section.

    Thank you for your diligence in maintaining this blog, and I wish you (and all teachers) a satisfying school year.

    Kim Grinder, AICE GP/AP English Lang


    1. Yes! I saw this one! It’s interesting to see students and teachers alike interacting on some of the comments!! I also like the quote and fact of-the-days, which are great bell ringer journal reflections. The informal writing helps students work on ‘working out’ clarity of expression! And of course, the clips and tips are invaluable to the GP task. Thanks for sharing!!


  3. Jenna Hollinshead | Reply

    Just wanted to let you know that we will be trying out your exam week mock test idea at Santaluces beginning next week. Our administrators are on board and so are the students; many, in fact, are looking forward to it! I will let you know how it goes. (They are quite intrigued by the idea of tying their papers together with string – that got more of a reaction than 2 essays in 2 hours.)

    Thanks again for all you do – I can’t wait to try to documentary project you shared from Terri and my students are thrilled they will be debating third quarter! 🙂


    1. Hey! I’m glad your administrative team is willing to let you guys do the simulation…it can be a challenge squeezing this kind of stuff into the master schedule at times so its great that you have their support!! Are you going with the Midterm exam slot as your test timeframe, preceded by a week of Mini-midterms? Or are you doing the sim during a school-wide test time (ie how I had mentioned us using the 11th grade Science window a few yrs back). Let me know how you work it out and we can share successful ideas and useful adjustments with everyone! For my next post, I will do a montage of pics from the last sim I did (it was a Saturday Sesh) but it might give you some ideas on set-up, plus ill post some follow-up ideas to review with them (bc that can be a challenge for teacher since its double the essay!) Good luck, Jenna/Santaluces!! Your kids will feel so confident once they get comfortable with the timing…it’s literally half the battle! And by the way, I agree about the string…they are totally amused by it!


  4. Amber Emerine | Reply

    Your information has really save me this year as a first time AICE teacher. Yesterday, two of my 65 AICE students accidentally wrote from the same section on the exam. Do you know how Cambridge deals with this? Is the second essay automatically ungraded? THANK YOU for your time and advice!
    Amber Emerine


    1. Traditionally, they don’t allow a student to write 2 from the same section, but I’ve had a student or two come back to me claiming that they did this by accident (one of which passed the exam anyway!). So I guess it just really depends…and I am hoping for the best for you guys! Let me know how it ends up in August when the scores are released. If it’s a genuinely strong writer they’re dealing with, I truly hope they extend sympathies his/her way! I’m really glad the blog has helped you this year, and I hope you’ll continue to be a part of the collaboration! 🙂 Thank YOU for keeping me going!


  5. Hi! Long time listener, first time caller. First, thank you so much for creating this blog and all of the resources on these webpages. I was really floundering teaching this class last year, and you’ve helped me tremendously. Since I usually keep up with your posts via email, I don’t know if this idea has been addressed yet by any other teachers, but I wanted to share it in case it hasn’t been. (I’ve used so much from your website so much and haven’t contributed anything yet and feel guilty). Next week (Aug 28th) marks the 50 year anniversary of the March on Washington and MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech. I’m going to use the occasion to address the discursive question “To what extent has America realized the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” I plan to play the speech for them, as well as Obama’s post-Trayvon Martin verdict comments to help the discussion along. This week’s Time Magazine has a whole spread on the March and the state of race in America and has some good articles and statistics to support these ideas. Thanks so much for all of your info. I have a two year old at home and I don’t know how you’re putting this all together with your little one. I know my little guy keeps me busy for almost all of the time that I am not in school.

    Claudine Damm
    Royal Palm Beach HS


    1. Claudine, thank you for supporting the blog and also for contributing! You are helping me realize MY dream for this endeavor! I absolutely love your idea. I get Time Mag as a subscription, so when I saw him on the cover I was super pumped because I plan to do the MLK lesson for his “I Have a Dream Speech” around Week 4. ALSO, if you subscribe to Upfront Magazine, the first edition’s “history” article is based on MLK, so this was totally meant to bell! I was hoping to synthesize this knowledge with the growing nonviolent movements cropping up for immigration reform (they even did a modern ‘Freedom Ride’ in South Cally!), so how cool will this unit be with your ideas and mine combined?! Power that by all the awesome support behind the Global Pen and we are going to have the most amazing resource in the world for GP! Hats off to you, Claudine, for your collaboration…I’m so glad to work with you. PS…now that Willow is walking around this house like she owns it, my time is slowly shifting, lol. The moms I chat with always tell me to ‘leave a little time in the day for -me- stuff,’ so since writing is what I absolutely love, I promise myself to make a little time for it each day. 🙂 We need to get our rugrats a play date while we nerd out GP!


  6. Could you remind me if we are able to request some of our students’ GP Examinations to be returned for free (I thought I remember you saying we could request up to 10 for free when I went to your training). My AICE coordinator says it costs money to request even one?!? Just curious.


    1. Hi, Jenn!
      Yes, you can request exams from CIE, but…it does cost money. And it’s sort of expensive, so it’s up to the budge of your school if admin will allow you to do this. I had mentioned at the training that at my school, we are allowed to request up to 5 per GP teacher; this is the budget our principal gives us for this feedback. Best of luck getting your hands on a few! It really is helpful to see what comments they provide for the individualized center/teacher/student.


  7. Dear Jill,
    Luv the pics with yr sweetie. They get big so very fast……
    Anyways can you pleas check yr inbox for an email I sent you couple of days ago. Thanks in advance and if you could shoot me a reply would appreciate it.
    Faryal Ali


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