Ms. Bissland poses with her second block WH English II class.
Ms. Bissland poses with her second block WH English II class.
Lauren Bissland

English Teacher Bissland Brings Unique Way of Learning into Classroom

Teacher Feature

When I first entered Ms. Lauren Bissland’s 10th-grade English class, it was like a fever dream. She had this bubbly and silly aura to her made me feel completely relaxed. Since that first day, all of her classes have felt like an hour and a half didn’t go by at all because they were so much fun. And this was all before the costumes started. I had heard of her dressing up before. As the Grinch, people had told me. As the Lorax.

But I thought it was all a myth . . . until I saw it with my own eyes.

“I started just coming in with just funny costumes because it’s not a secret that students are required to be here, so why not spice it up? Why not make it fun? Why not make people excited to say ‘Oh when’s the next costume?’” said Bissland.

Bissland is a 10th-grade English teacher here at NAHS and has only been here for a year, yet she is already pretty much known everywhere in this building. This is because, in December of 2023, Mrs. Bissland dressed up as the Grinch and stalked the hallways, looking for hallway skippers. But, she didn’t stop dressing up. Since I’ve been in her class, she has dressed up as the Lorax, a chef, a detective, and many other characters. 

Bissland’s first teaching job was at Reading Senior High School during quarantine. The school did not require students to have their cameras on and so Bissland felt lonely, even if she also had a co-teacher. She taught ESL at the time and the students had to do speaking activities on flipgrid. Many students felt nervous to speak and show their faces, so to make the students feel better, Bissland created an alter ego.

Students pose with Ms. Bissland in a Lorax costume. 

“To lighten the mood, I dressed up as Chad,” said Bissland. “He has a TikTok: @chad_is_rad25. I would record [the videos] as Chad and just mess around, do like- weird flip grids, and my co-teacher kinda made this comment. He was like, ‘kids love when you do that.’ I noticed after I did that, so many more kids were a little more excited to come.”  

Bissland found that students enjoyed it when teachers did silly things like dress up. She would be asked many times when she would dress up again, so she continued to do so. But Bissland’s classes are not engaging simply because she dresses up; she also creates an engaging learning environment by teaching through games and fun activities. 

“I think that a lot of times, students have this perception that school is boring,” said Bissland. “They show up, they sit in the classroom, and you do stuff. I like to make people feel like so engaged that they’re not even learning. Like doing things in a fun way that it almost feels like ‘Oh class is already over!’”

One activity we did in class was related to the book we are currently reading: Beloved by Toni Morrison. Beloved is, overall, a dark book, so Bissland wanted to do something fun to lighten the mood when appropriate. Last semester, she hated the way she taught it, mainly with worksheets and similar activities. So, when a lighter, fun chapter came up, she had an idea to play carnival games, which was related to the chapter. She set up games such as Eggcellent Discussion Questions, an Egg toss, and Spin the Setting. 

“I kept thinking ‘How am I gonna spice this up?’ ‘How am I gonna make this fun?’ Cause this is the one, or one of the only chapters that is positive, light, airy kind-of-tone. So I was like, ‘Let’s do carnival games!’” said Bissland. 

Bissland credits her own tenth-grade English class for her love of literature, and it just so happens her favorite book is Beloved. She wants to give both the class and the novel justice because many students feel that literature, books, and even school are boring.

One of the carnival games played in her English classes.

She wants her students to, when reading, to put “the puzzle pieces together, maybe not to that extent but there’s always deeper meaning to stuff, but when you’re writing you purposefully are writing every single word that you do.”

Bissland just wants students to enjoy school, and if that means dressing up like the Grinch or the Lorax or just being silly, she´ll do it. Not only do her students enjoy her costumes and overall unconventional teaching but so too do her family, friends, and even colleagues. 

“My mom always says, ‘I wanna be a fly on the wall in your classroom and just see the weird nature that kind of comes out’ cause I’m a weird person,” said Bissland. 

Bissland just wants the best for her students and to encourage them to enjoy school and learning. She wants to see students’ faces light up when they enter her class and see her dressed up in another costume. She doesn’t care if it makes her a little cheesy.

“My husband, he said it really well once. He said, ‘Y’know they’re probably making fun of you, right?’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, that’s the point. I want to be made fun- like this is hilarious.”

Bissland embraces her weirdness and silliness as you can see from the costumes, the way she teaches, and even her personality. She believes that it’s okay to be strange, even if a lot of other people have opposing opinions. Most of her students love that she wants them to be the way they are.

 “I really like showing people that it’s okay to be strange,” she said. “You do you and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.”


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  • C

    COMay 17, 2024 at 10:03 am

    Mrs. Bissland truly is the best teacher I’ve ever had! Much love! 🫶🏼

  • M

    Ms.BisslandMay 17, 2024 at 9:44 am

    Live laugh love!!! Thank you so much for the feature!!!

  • M

    Ms. VillalbaMay 17, 2024 at 8:56 am

    Bissland is the best no cap