Jamie Glass, a law teacher at Middlefield Collegiate Institute in the York Region District School Board, is the recipient of the 2019 Chief Justices’ Award.
The Chief Justices’ Award is an annual award created by the Chief Justices of Ontario’s three courts to honour individuals who have made exceptional contributions in promoting public understanding of the justice system. Past recipients include judges, teachers, lawyers, police officers, court staff and community organizers.
An inspiring and innovative teacher of law and civics for 21 years, Mr. Glass began his career as a criminal lawyer. His nomination was supported by current and past students as well as teaching colleagues and members of the justice community.
His students describe his classrooms as lively and engaged. Many comment that they appreciate his efforts to understand the challenges of the diverse student population and tailor his teaching style to individual needs. His lessons often focus on the day-to-day issues affecting students’ households or communities. He utilizes a wide range of teaching strategies to promote an understanding and appreciation for the justice system.
As one former student wrote, “The overwhelming majority of Middlefield Collegiate Institute’s students (including myself) come from first-generation immigrant families from visible minority groups and by making it a point to champion students’ voices and help them realize the vital role they have to play in public life, Jamie has shaped me and hundreds of other students into socially responsible, politically active and civically engaged citizens of Canada”.
Teachers mention his generosity in sharing knowledge and expertise. While a new teacher, he founded the Ontario Law Teacher’s Assistance Network (OLTAN), a network of law teachers across Ontario who share lessons, ideas, and teaching tools.
For the past 11 years he has taught the online Senior Basic Law Additional Qualification course for the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) and developed the OISE Law course, currently accredited by the Ontario College of Teachers.
He was one of the law teachers consulted by the Ministry of Education, from 2010 to 2014, for their rewrite of the 2015 Law expectations.
He co-authored a Grade 11 Law textbook titled, ‘All About Law’, published by Nelson and used in classrooms today.
Justice sector professionals applaud his leadership in the area of equity initiatives, commenting that he promoted “Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging” well before it became a popular social policy. He was instrumental in organizing forums, conferences and programs designed to help teachers better understand and engage students who are racialized, underserved or marginalized.
In 2005 he collaborated with a group of lawyers to establish the Motivation, Inspiration and Literacy (MILL) program. Lawyers who had overcome challenging circumstance in their youth, inspire students to persevere through their own struggles to achieve success.
Jamie Glass has made exceptional contributions to promoting public understanding of the justice system. We congratulate him on becoming the fifteenth recipient of the OJEN Chief Justices’ Award!