Dr. Jill Biden Heads Back To School As A Working First Lady

by Julie Scagell
Jeff Hahne/Getty

Dr. Jill Biden is the first First Lady to work outside the White House

Jill Biden will be heading back into the classroom this week making her the first First Lady with a full-time job outside the White House.

“Dr.B,” as her students call her, will be heading back in person two days a week to her teaching position at Northern Virginia Community College, where she’s worked since 2009, teaching writing and English. Biden taught remotely last semester as well, blocking off her schedule every Tuesday and Thursday to dedicate to her students.

It’s no surprise for those who have paid attention to Biden’s message about the importance of her job as teacher. “If we get to the White House, I’m gonna continue to teach,” she told CBS News during her husband’s election campaign. “It’s important, and I want people to value teachers and know their contributions, and lift up the profession.”

As this year moved from summer to fall, she’s been vocal about her excitement to return to the classroom to teach in person. “Can you believe it’s almost time to begin the new school year?” she said at Waipahu High School near Honolulu in late July. “I hope you’re as excited as I am for those clean whiteboards, the freshly waxed floors, and, best of all, the bright faces of our students — in person.”

Biden took a small break from her teaching career during her husband’s run for president but she’s never wavered about her love of teaching. “There are some things you just can’t replace, and I can’t wait to get back in the classroom,” she told Good Housekeeping magazine.

“In college, I started working with older students who struggled with reading,” she said. “I’ve always loved to read, and I wanted to help them find that same joy that I found in books. It was then that I knew that I’d found my calling.”

Prior to her role at NOVA, Biden spent years teaching at several public schools in Delaware, including Brandywine High School in Wilmington, Delaware. She has a doctorate degree in education, and also spent time teaching at Delaware Technical Community College.

While Biden said remote learning wasn’t her favorite, she did learn a lot through the experience. “I thought it would be harder online to create the community that makes our classes so special, but my students really stepped up,” she told GH. “We found new ways to connect with each other. I learned a lot, and some of those lessons I’ll take forward to future years of teaching. Still, there are some things you just can’t replace, and I can’t wait to get back in the classroom, this fall.”