Tiffany Poirier is a national award-winning educator, author, and parent who believes in the power of questions and the infinite gifts of every child.
Driven by curiosity, passion, and a quest she’s been on since an early childhood tragedy, Tiffany began her teaching career listening closely when her students asked the same kinds big questions that kept her own young mind awake at night pondering: What is happiness? What is real? What really matters? How can we make the world a better place?
At age five, Tiffany lost her father, a forest firefighter, when the helicopter he was a passenger in crashed and burned while trying to make an emergency landing off the highway. Although he never came home with the present he had promised her before that fateful trip, Tiffany’s father left her with many gifts she would come to discover over the years: a courageous heart, an ear for great questions, an eye to see every child’s potential, and a voice for speaking out and sharing stories of learning.
Like her mother and grandmother before her, Tiffany found a path through early personal hardship to a teaching career rich with meaning and joy. Earning bachelor degrees in Philosophy (UVic, 2004) and Education (UBC, 2006), she quickly combined these two passions. In her first year on the job, Tiffany began writing and illustrating a critical thinking book dedicated to her students, Q is for Question: An ABC of Philosophy. Down the rabbit hole of adventure and learning in elementary classrooms with her students, she worked for over a decade with learners of diverse needs, both in regular and gifted enrichment programs in the Vancouver and Surrey school districts. During this time, she led workshops for educators and parents and earned an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership (UBC, 2012).
With her articles, radio features, documentaries, YouTube channel, and a TEDxVictoria talk on “The Power to Question”, Tiffany spotlights youth voices and shares a window into the insights gleaned from her practice. Empowering pint-sized philosophers to pursue their questions in dialogue circles, she helps them grow their ideas through in-depth, passion-based project work. A champion for creative education, an expert on inquiry learning, and a leader in the “Philosophy for Children” (P4C) movement, Tiffany received the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2014.
Tiffany continues to support teaching and innovation through her current role as a District Vice Principal for the Greater Victoria School District.
Contact us for more information or to Book Tiffany Poirier for your next event.
- THE QUESTION TOOLBOX FOR TEACHERS
What are the secrets of effective questioning? How can we empower learners to question more deeply, discover their gifts, and achieve success? In this practical session, Tiffany Poirier brings out the zany tools from her “Question Toolbox” as she demonstrates how to teach questioning skills in a fun, creative, and tangible way. She shares colourful strategies and examples of how to help students craft powerful questions, engage in meaningful dialogue, and learn through transformative peer-to-peer coaching sessions. Introducing her “Big Question Roadmap”, Tiffany reveals a formula for how we all can create our own big questions to kick start personal inquiries with clarity, focus, and passion. As a bonus, audience members get a free takeaway gift of Tiffany’s eBook, Finding Your Question: Tools, Strategies, and Roadmap.
- WAY OF THE INQUIRY NINJA
How can we help learners to question more deeply and do in-depth inquiry projects with greater independence? How can we as educators learn to become “Inquiry Ninjas” in the classroom through internalizing the practice of facilitation to help empower learners to make their own discoveries? In this practical session, Tiffany Poirier brings inquiry-based learning to life using her “4 Vehicles” analogy and lots examples, stories, frameworks, resources, and project ideas to help you quickly get started facilitating learning on a whole new level.
- 10 TIPS FOR SPARKING RICHER CLASSROOM DIALOGUE
Are we really listening to each other? How do we empower learners to be excellent communicators? What steps can we take to create the time and space for richer dialogue in our school classrooms, homes, workplaces, and communities? In this session, Tiffany Poirier presents fun and surprising strategies to inspire more meaningful and productive communication. She introduces the “Community of Inquiry” practice (P4C model) and how it can be used to promote engagement, foster innovation, and build understanding across difference. Come join this “campfire session” and bring your own questions, ideas, and experiences as we work together to creatively troubleshoot the top challenges educators face when facilitating dialogue.
- DISCOVER YOUR GIFTS
Einstein, Picasso, Jane Austen, Mother Theresa, Michael Jordan—all of history’s greatest, most inspiring men and women share this in common: all were once children. Now imagine being a teacher in an elementary classroom filled with future stars like these: how would you nurture their dreams and foster their growth? After a decade researching and working with youth in regular classrooms and gifted education programs, Tiffany Poirier came to see how we all—regardless of age, ability level, and background—have profound potential to develop our interests and gifts and make a difference. We can transform our luck and limitations with the right kind of nurturing, inspiration, and guidance. In this session, Tiffany shares her insights and observations on talent development, and makes the case for an ethic of “child honouring”. Revealing her 10-Step Personal Interest Project Framework, Tiffany shows how anyone can identify an area of passion and use the inquiry process to develop new expertise and create something great to share with the world.
- "THE TEACHING COATS PROJECT"
Imagine you own a magical “Teaching Coat” that has the power to tell the story of who you are. In this hands-on, creative session you’ll be inspired to hear your “inner teacher”, and share who you are, and what you believe through making your own Teaching Coat. Using meaningful symbols, writings, quotes, memorabilia, and artifacts, you’ll begin to create a collage to illustrate your professional identity—it’s a wearable “teaching philosophy”. Your Teaching Coat is a unique treasure to share and inspire dialogue with students and colleagues!
- STORYTELLING IN THE CLASSROOM
Everyone has a story that could change the world—yet people often discount the treasures and wisdom they have won through their personal experience. This session explores how leaders and educators can identify, craft, and share more powerful narratives to reach, teach, and inspire hearts and minds of any age. We explore strategies for how to dig deep and unearth experiential gems, create a powerful personal “Story Bank”, and tell stories