Jay is not your typical keynote speaker. With 33+ years as a teacher and 10+ as a national speaker, he comes straight after your hearts and minds!
After a motorcycle accident in 1986 crushed the 7th thoracic vertebrae in my back and left me less than a ¼ of an inch from being paralyzed from my chest down, I take each day as a gift. While I was recuperating for six months, my Mom mentioned how I would be a good teacher, how the neighborhood kids flocked to me when I was outside to learn football plays and hear me tell stories. It stuck. I recently retired after 30 years of teaching at Shepherd High School, and 34 days later accepted a position teaching Speech/Debate at Morley Stanwood High School. I am still being told countless times my stories make learning relate, make it easier to understand. One of the greatest compliments I received was after a motivational speech for high school students this past summer: “You are so real”, she said. “We can relate to you because you are real and honest and not afraid to show emotion”. I found myself smiling.
My name is Jay Gross, and I am an English, Speech, & Debate teacher. I was also an adjunct professor for English and Speech at Mid Michigan Community College and online with the Blended Learning in the Classroom (BLiC). Educational Technology is my passion, my obsession. I have taught using Blackboard from one of its very earliest versions all the way to Moodle & Google as they are today. I will continue to search for new ways to help improve my classroom and my students’ chances for success post-high school. Throughout this crazy/confusing journey in the ‘techno world’, I have been able to develop a way to decipher it and ‘speak teacher’, helping educators and administrators overcome fears and anxieties and take the first step into a phenomenal world of technology that can enhance, enrich, excite, and simplify lives.
Our lives are a bit busy. Along with teaching, I am lucky enough to be married to my wife JoAnn, the Shepherd Band Teacher and President for the State of Michigan Bands & Orchestras (and she was named 2021 Michigan Band Teacher of the Year!!!), father to three boys (15, 16, & 17 years old) who we adopted fifteen years ago. We also continue to foster in hopes of reuniting children with their families or getting them the loving homes they need. Our home is filled with 7 rescue dogs who are our ‘furry’ children. We sponsor a child in Rwanda, John B, allowing him a better life. I created and operate Jay Gross Productions where I run our rental properties, my videography business, and all of my speaking engagements as well as trainings. I also have been ordained and have performed wedding services for many of my former students.
?Working with Best Keynote and now with Signature Keynotes has been an amazing experience, allowing me to speak/work with educators around the country. Add in my educational technology consulting & training throughout the state, motivational speaking, co-authoring a book with my wife on a couple’s insight into the world of infertility and how to survive it with laughter and tears, our lives are busy, to say the least.
And I wouldn't change a single thing.