A Surrey educator is among just 10 elementary and secondary teachers chosen nationwide this year to receive a Certificate of Excellence from Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Tiffany Poirier, a teacher at Prince Charles Elementary, was honoured in Ottawa on Tuesday (Oct. 7).
The Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence recognize outstanding and innovative elementary and secondary school teachers who instil in their students a love of learning and who use information and communications technologies to help students meet the challenges of the 21st Century.
Poirier teaches the Surrey School District’s Challenge Program for gifted Grade 3 to 7 students, where students examine some of life’s biggest questions, such as What is Happiness? and Can war be justified?
Through inquiry-based, hands-on learning, Poirier strives to empower her students to explore their own big questions, interests and passions though dialogue and in-depth projects.
“Every child has infinite gifts to discover and share,” she says.
In addition to numerous other achievements, Poirier wrote and illustrated a children’s critical thinking book called Q is for Question, An ABC of Philosophy, and developed The Teaching Coats Project, an arts-based inquiry for teachers and students that helps nurture identity and build learning communities.
She is also a sought-after speaker at events including the World Gifted Conference and TEDxVictoria.
“Tiffany Poirier truly cares about children. She not only cares about them directly, but she cares about what they’re thinking, and perhaps more importantly, how they’re thinking it,” said an attended of the Victoria TEDx talk.
There were a total of 17 national-level winners, of which Poirier was one, and a total of 54 teachers, including early childhood educators, honoured from across Canada.
The awards are offered at the regional and national levels and carry cash prizes of $1,000 and $5,000, respectively.