Teacher took motherly instinct into classroomWritten by Aya Khalil | | email@example.com
Susan Bissonette has been a surrogate mother to her students for years.
Known as Miss Biss, the retired math teacher still tutors at Biggby Coffee in Cricket West.
“When I first started at Maumee Valley, this kid who lived across the street started calling me ‘Miss Biss’ and it stuck for 26 years,” she said.
Miss Biss, who grew up in Toledo, is not bashful about her age.
“I’m 71,” she said. “I don’t care. I always say it’s better than the alternative.”
Miss Biss and her husband, Dave, live in Sylvania and have one daughter, Amy, who lives in Chicago. Although she has no grandchildren, she has a plethora of extended family. Her sister passed away 18 years ago, and she considers her niece’s children her grandchildren.
“Plus, I have all my tutees and students so I have an extended family that’s huge,” she said.
Before Maumee Valley, she taught at Sylvania Schools. She quit teaching when she was pregnant with her daughter, but continued to tutor at her home.
“I don’t know how I did it. I’m used to being busy. I can’t stand just to sit around.”
When her daughter was older, she returned to school teaching.
Her daughter has always been a priority. They would go to school at the same time and would spend time together after school and on the weekends.
“You always worry about your children no matter how old they are,” she said. “I just want her to be happy … When my mother died when she was 93, she still worried about her kids- you never outgrow that.”
Miss Biss enjoys her retired life and keeps in touch with former students.
“I don’t think I’ve ever forgotten a student. I remember these kids. I keep calling them kids, but they’re not kids. I have kids that are retired.”
Aside from tutoring, Miss Biss enjoys working out, yoga, golfing and volunteering. She also likes cutting her grass, reading and meeting friends.
“I love it [all]. I would not be happy any other way,” she said.
Miss Biss advises mothers of all ages to spend as much time with their children as possible and try to be a good role model for them, too.
Miss Biss has a simple advice for children regarding their mothers: “Love and respect them.”