Celebrate May with Illuminate!

Hey, all! I hope your week is going great and you’re digging deep to find the energy and motivation to be awesome for your students! I know I’m struggling this week – we’re on a weird testing schedule where 3-4 classes each day are an hour and a half in length to accommodate state testing guidelines. We’re used to 45-minute classes 🙂 I don’t know about you, but I’m upping my already impressive caffeine intake in an effort to keep learning fun and engaging for my students!

May is also a pretty exciting month for me – we’re coming up on the ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of the launch of Illuminate: Technology Enhanced Learning! I CANNOT believe it’s been a year already, and I’m so incredibly thankful to all of you for not only reading my blog but also for your support of Illuminate! You guys are AWESOME!

To celebrate the upcoming end of the school year, I’m launching a new type of book study – 10 Days of Illuminate – designed to encourage teachers throughout the last days of the school year. Here’s the plan:

Starting Monday, May 6, I’ll post a “share square” with options from each chapter of Illuminate. Choose what you’d like to create/share, post a link to your product (if applicable), tag someone you think needs to read Illuminate, and be entered to win a Starbucks gift card! I’ll pick a winner on May 17, which also happens to be my last day of school 🙂

Grab your copy of Illuminate and get ready to end the year on a high note!

Thanks for reading 🙂

What are you thankful for?

Hello, friends! We’re experiencing a stretch of AWESOME weather here in Missouri – I’m talking 70 degrees and sunny. It’s fantastic! However, it’s making this teacher a tad less excited to get up and go to work. I’m already envisioning myself sitting on my patio, drinking my coffee, enjoying the quiet part of the day before my daughters wake up. Then, making them breakfast, hanging out and having fun before crashing for an afternoon nap … ahhhhh…

I can see it now! We’re still a few weeks away from summer vacation, though and my students and I still have A LOT to accomplish in that time. It always seems to me that the stretch of time between St. Patrick’s Day and Easter (when Easter is later) just drags on and on. Motivation on both sides of the desk is lacking – my seniors have severe cases of senioritis, my juniors have end-of-school-itis, and their teacher is just darn tired.

I’m trying to shift my mindset from, “ugh, I have to get up and go to work,” to “I get to go to work and make a (hopefully) positive impact on my students!” I know this sounds cliche, but it’s a change I’m trying to make over the next few weeks when I really need a motivational kick in the tush.

Some of my friends use a gratitude journal to help them focus on the positives and start the day off with the right mindset. I like this idea but, as most of you can probably relate, I’m so rushed in the morning! It’s just not something I can do consistently in the hectic chaos that is our getting up, getting ready, going to school/work morning routine.

So, instead, I’ve decided to share one thing daily that I’m thankful for each school day until the end of the year. This is quick and easy to do and will hopefully remind me of all of my blessings throughout the day, as well as keep me motivated to finish the year strong!

Will you join me? Follow #thankfulthoughts to join the conversation!

Thanks for reading 🙂

100 Days to Brave – Day 1

In addition to mentally preparing to go back to work tomorrow (we’ve had two inclement weather days plus the weekend), I’m also started a daily devotional journey that I’ve heard SO MANY fantastic things about: 100 Days to Brave. I’ve been searching for so long trying to find a daily devotional that I can apply to my life and I think I’ve found it!

These devotions begin with a Bible verse, a quick story, and a call to action – exactly what I need in my life. Today’s Bible verse is one of my favorites from Isaiah, “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13)

This verse resonates with me for so many reasons … let’s break it down:

First, God is telling us not only that He is the Almighty, but also that He is OUR GOD. Our God! Just think – the Creator of the universe is OUR GOD. How cool is that?

Second, God tells us that He will guide us and help us throughout our journey. Again – the God that created everything will be with us throughout our life. This reminds me of another favorite verse from Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” He doesn’t tell us that it will be an easy walk in the park with rainbows and butterflies and glitter, but does give us the reassuring fact that He will be there with us.  WOW!

This leads me to the third chunk of this verse, “Do not fear; I will help you.” All of the  “do not be afraid” verses in the Bible are so comforting to me because I am an anxiety-ridden worrywart. If there’s something to worry about, by golly I’ll get right to it. Yes, I’ve heard the saying that worrying is about like sitting in a rocking chair – it gives you something to do, but doesn’t get you anywhere. I KNOW, but that doesn’t help the worrying. However, repeating verses like Isaiah 41:13, Joshua 1:9, and Matthew 28:20 (And teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”) certainly help calm down this worrier.

Have you read 100 Days to Brave? Let me know your thoughts!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Teacher-Mom Life

Hello, all! Since this is my first official post on bethanypetty.com, I thought I’d take just a few lines of this post to introduce myself and give you a glimpse into my hectic teacher-mom life, which will hopefully illuminate the why of this post.

My name is Bethany Petty (hi, Bethany!). I’m a high school Social Studies teacher by day, tackling American Government, dual credit Western Civilizations, dual credit American History I & 2, and dual credit American Political Systems, as well as leading my department, and an adjunct instructor of educational technology. I write a blog, Teaching with Technology, in which I share tips, strategies, and reflections from my classroom. I’m also the author of Illuminate: Technology Enhanced Learning which was published in May of 2018. Most importantly, I’m Mommy to two little girls and wife to a pretty cool husband. I love to read, run, workout, shop, watch Outlander and Harry Potter, and take lots of naps. I spend my afternoons, evenings, and weekends driving my kids all over God’s creation to ballet, tap, jazz, basketball, soccer, and piano lessons. You can say that I’m a busy gal. Which brings me to the reason for this post …

I’m often asked at conferences or workshops I present at around the region (soon to be around the country!) how I balance all of the craziness that is my life. (I forgot to mention that my husband is a sales and finance manager at a car dealership, which means we really never know when he’s coming home in the evenings!) My typical answer to this question is, “God and coffee; in that order and a whole lot of both.”

While this is 100% true (I feel like I’m in a constant convo with God throughout the day, saying things like “please help me take a deep breath so I don’t have a total freakout,” and I seriously drink about 7 cups of coffee each day), it’s not the only way I tackle the incredible challenge of attempting to balance my hectic and extremely blessed life.

How else, you ask?

EXERCISE. Holy moly. What did I do before I started running? How did I not completely lose my mind between the stresses of full-time teaching and much more importantly, having an awesome marriage while raising two fabulous daughters?

My husband knows me so well – when it seems as though Mommy has had a bit much and is on edge, he very nicely asks which workout I did today … running or a Beachbody workout. If I say that I haven’t gotten a workout in yet, he calmly suggests that I go down to our basement and spend a bit of time sweating out my stress. It’s fantastic 🙂

I’m just finishing the Transform 20 program from Shaun T and it has been FABULOUS. The workouts are only 20 minutes per day, 6 days a week and are super intense. I find myself repeating over and over in my head, “this is only 20 minutes. You can do this. You grew and gave birth to two humans. You have this in the bag.” Even though it’s only 20 minutes, I’ve had great results that include toning up AND decreasing my three mile run time which has probably been the most exciting part of the program for me! I love running – I throw on Outlander on my iPhone or iPad while I’m running, my kids play or watch a movie in the basement so they’re right there with me – but it’s historically not been great for my body. I have crummy knees – I’ll blame that on 10 years of volleyball! – and I’m prone to shin splints. Oh, and I also have exercise-induced asthma. So why in the world do I love to run?! I like proving to myself that I can overcome obstacles and push myself to be the best version of me. And somehow, pushing myself to the point of physical exhaustion, dripping in sweat and torching calories is the most relaxing part of my day – ha!

But seriously, how do you balance and juggle all of the balls you have in your life? How do you keep from dropping them, and how do you respond when you do drop one?

I’m super pumped to be starting a new book, in addition to the Outlander book I’m reading, of course (I may be a tad obsessed!), called 100 Days to Brave.  (Affilate Link) I’ve heard so many great things about this personal development/devotional and I can’t wait to dive in. Check back soon for reflections 🙂

Thanks so much for reading!

**This post may contain affliate links, which means I may earn a small commission if you purchase a product through my link. Thanks for your support!**

Illuminate Social Media Book Study

Hey, all! Happy Monday!

The day is FINALLY HERE! I’m so excited to embark on this social media journey with all of you as we learn from each other, grow our PLN, and have fun doing so!

The goal of this book study is to connect, reflect, and share with other educators around the world using social media. Check out our study on whatever social media platform you choose and encourage others to share in the fun! 

Twitter: @Bethany_Petty
Instagram: @bethanypetty_educ8
Facebook: http://facebook.com/usingedtech
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/bethany133


Have a fantastic week! I’ll see you on social media!

Thanks for reading!



Hello, all! Welcome to my NEW website, BethanyPetty.com. This site will serve as a home for my blog, Teaching with Technology, my book, Illuminate: Technology Enhanced Learning, my podcast, Try This Tomorrow: Talks with Teachers, and conference presentations that I deliver. I’m also excited to share tidbits from my crazy, hectic, life as a mom, wife, teacher, author, and blogger!

Thanks so much for stopping by!