Tiffany Poirier

Award-winning Educator, Author, and “Big Questions” Expert

Tiffany Poirier

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.

    Topics 
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. "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!

  6. 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

Testimonials: 
Ms. Poirier…I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, and the organization you represent, for the time, energy and expertise that you have devoted to [The Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence]…Thank you for taking part in the Prime Minister’s Awards selection process and for your commitment to excellence in education in Canada.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
"Q is for Question" is a marvellous resource for those interested in leading philosophical discussions with children. Presenting a wide range of philosophical issues in charming and witty rhymes, it is sure to delight children and their elders as well as spark debates about the most elemental matters. Tiffany Poirier is to be congratulated for her wonderful achievement!
Dr. Thomas Wartenberg, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy
Mount Holyoke College
[Tiffany], your uncompromising dedication to teaching inspires our students and helps them to succeed. You are model of excellence whose high standards inspire your colleagues, parents, and your students…Thank you for your contribution to education in Canada. You are a source of pride and inspiration for educators across the country.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Tiffany ignites the passion in others, both students and colleagues, with her own energetic flame of curiosity, inquiry, and deep interest. She is then able to hold a mirror for each student, or colleague, to see this ability and passion within themselves and help them move forward from the world of interest and ideas to acts of meaningful creation that contribute not only to personal learning but also to the wider community. Working with Tiffany is exciting - sparks fly as educational theory and classical philosophy ignite with innovative practice and deep inquiry.
Megan Thrift Chrostowski, Teacher
About “The Power to Question”: [I] loved this presentation - it was thought provoking and empowering. I can't wait to ask my class some big questions and find out what they are thinking about tomorrow morning when I greet them. As a teacher I believe I have as much to learn from my students as I have to teach them. Tiffany you have inspired me to let my students take ownership of their learning. If you allow them to question and wonder, then one need only fan the flame of learning that comes from within!
Lisa Kasa, Elementary School Teacher
Engaging presenter and presentation helped me further along my journey to provide an environment for students to feel safe and passionate about asking questions and exploring answers. In addition to the motivating usable information, the presentation was visually beautiful! Much appreciated!
Connect 2017: Canada's Learning & Technology Conference
Tiffany has created a simplified approach to inquiry/project-based learning. I am a tech coach with the Upper Grand District School Board, and one of the things that holds teachers back on a regular basis is their fear to proceed without a template. Tiffany has created a guide that will take the anxiety out of inquiry.
Connect 2017: Canada's Learning & Technology Conference
“I loved how well your presentation flowed, well spoken, and how you connected your story within the presentation. Loved the examples of questions to the everyday tools/items we can find around the house and how we can connect it to the different forms of questions.”.
Connect 2017: Canada's Learning & Technology Conference
“Tiffany, you described everything with great enthusiasm and passion that kept your audience engaged throughout the entire presentation. I love how you provided tangible visuals and presented your content in a practical way. I loved the idea of having a "campfire" in your classroom. Great idea! A captivating presentation! Thank you for sharing your insight and inspiring a passion for effective questioning!
Connect 2017: Canada's Learning & Technology Conference
Your presentation was exceptional. I really appreciated the videos and samples of student inquiry projects. You're a very passionate and articulate presenter, easy to follow and inspiring to listen to. Your resources are a prize.
Connect 2017: Canada's Learning & Technology Conference

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