It began with a promise.
Our story

Our Story

In 1999, Jay Schroder entered teaching with a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome. After a year of struggle and utter exhaustion, Jay made a promise to the office manager at his school that he would find a way to teach that didn’t wear him out. He spent the next two decades on a mission to do just that.

Fast-forward to…

In the summer of 2021, sponsored by the Southern Oregon Regional Network (SOREN) and The Oregon Writing Project at Southern Oregon University, Jay launched Teach from Your Best Self as a year-long professional development program to a group of 19 exhausted teachers. Through the year, these course participants enthusiastically and unanimously reported that the training not only made them better teachers with deepened resiliency, it also made them better friends, spouses, colleagues, and parents.

Since that initial program in 2021, Teach from Your Best Self has grown to touch the lives of educators at all levels of experience throughout Southern Oregon and beyond.


Watch Our Video

The Southern Oregon Regional Educator Network produced a video to share the impact Teach From Your Best Self had on the first cohort of participants.

Jay Schroder

Jay Schroder has taught high school in both traditional and alternative education settings for 24 years. During this time, Jay developed approaches to teaching that allow him to thrive in this challenging profession. He now leads teacher trainings to help other teachers do the same.

Jay is an affiliate faculty member at Southern Oregon University. He currently works for Southern Oregon Regional Educator Network (SOREN) as an Implementation Coach. His book, Teach From Your Best Self: A Guide to Thriving in the Classroom, will be released by Routledge in August 2023.

In 2021, the Oregon Council of Teachers of English (OCTE)  awarded Jay the High School English Teacher of Excellence Award. In 2022, Jay received the High School Teacher of Excellence Award from the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Jay is a certified instructor of Social Emotional Learning and Character Development. He holds a sixth-degree black belt in karate and has been honored with the title Kyoshi, meaning expert martial arts teacher, by his karate sensei, Grandmaster Thomas Spellman. For the past 28 years, Jay has been mentored by Paul Richards (of the Sente Center) in the development of capacities that promote growth and change.

Growing up in rural Oregon, Jay rode his bicycle to the local strawberry patch to pick berries and earn money to buy school clothes. He has experienced first hand the life-changing power of education. Jay currently lives in Medford, Oregon with his wife Judy, a high school art teacher. When not teaching or supporting educators, he enjoys karate training, sipping coffee at local cafes, meeting friends, and hanging out with really big trees.



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