She is the first First Lady to leave the White House to log hours at a full-time job.
“There are some things you just can’t replace, and I can’t wait to get back in the classroom,” she recently told Good Housekeeping magazine.
The First Lady has been anxious to see her students in person after more than a year of virtual teaching brought on by a pandemic that continues to challenge the Biden administration.
A working First Lady is a “big deal,” said Tammy Vigil, a Boston University Communications Professor who wrote a book about First Ladies Michelle Obama and Melania Trump.
The nation’s early First Ladies did not work outside the White House. They supported their husbands, raised children and performed the role of hostess. Some First Ladies acted as ambassadors for their husbands. Eleanor Roosevelt was especially active, traveling around the U.S. and reporting back to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose activities were limited by polio.
More recent First Ladies, like Laura Bush, who was an elementary school teacher and librarian, had stopped working outside the home after having children and were not employed when their husbands were elected. Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama were working mothers who decided against continuing their careers in the White House.
Jill Biden, 70, is forging a new path for herself and her successors.
The First Lady has said she always wanted to be a career woman. She taught at the Virginia community college during the eight years that her husband was vice president and was not about to let the added responsibility of being first lady force her to give up a career she so closely identifies with. “Teaching isn’t just what I do. It’s who I am,” she says.Women made up nearly half, or 47%, of the U.S. labour force in 2019, according to Catalyst, a women’s workplace advocacy group. Jill Biden started teaching English at a Roman Catholic high school in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1976, a year after she met and began dating then-U.S. Sen. Biden. She later taught at a psychiatric hospital and at Delaware Technical Community College.
She earned two master’s degrees and a doctorate in educational leadership during those years.
Her virtual teaching continued as First Lady, from her office in the White House East Wing or hotel rooms when she travelled to promote administration policies. She grades papers on flights.
Jill Biden will teach on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with travel on days when she is not in the classroom. Her employer, the commonwealth of Virginia, requires everyone to wear face coverings indoors on Northern Virginia Community College campuses, regardless of vaccination status. The first lady is fully vaccinated.- THE INDIAN EXPRESS