Dr. Jill Biden wasted no time hosting her first virtual event as first lady. On Thursday, January 21, President Joe Biden’s first full day in office, Dr. Biden highlighted a cause that’s extremely close to her heart: education.
In a video, the first lady directly addressed educators across the country and thanked them for their hard work and dedication during this extraordinarily difficult time.
“I have never felt prouder of our profession,” Biden said, as reported by People. “In this pandemic, educators have shown a heroic commitment to their students. So, on behalf of a grateful nation, thank you. You have been so strong. And now it’s time for us to be strong for you.”
Dr. Biden was joined by Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and Becky Pringle, president of the National Education Association. Both expressed that they feel hopeful and “respected” by the new administration because, going forward, they’ll be working directly with an educator who understands firsthand what they’re coping with.
Dr. Jill Biden is making history by keeping her teaching job
“We’re working with an educator in the White House, someone who walks in our shoes, who knows the challenges and aspirations of our children,” Weingarten said during the event, according to People. “That is more than I can ever have imagined before this moment.”
It’s not just that Jill Biden is an experienced educator who is drawing from past experiences now that she’s first lady. She has chosen to keep her job as a teacher, so she’ll continue to witness (and experience) what people in the profession are facing.
Dr. Biden is a writing teacher at Northern Virginia Community College — and she’s making history by keeping her teaching her job in addition to carrying out her responsibilities as first lady (via VOA News). She already made history when she continued her work as an educator in addition to serving as second lady during her husband’s vice presidency.
Biden has decades of experience in education (via Politico). Prior to her current role at Northern Virginia Community College, the first lady held a variety of teaching jobs including at a public high school and an adolescent psychiatric hospital.
In fact, it’s more than a career to her: Biden sees education as part of her identity. “Teaching is not what I do. It’s who I am,” she tweeted on August 18, 2020, prior to delivering her Democratic National Convention Speech from her former classroom at Brandywine High School.
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