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It's back-to-school time for kids, parents, and teachers across America. That includes first lady Dr. Jill Biden, who is returning to the classroom this week and making history in the process. Longtime educator Biden has always maintained that she would continue teaching during her husband's presidency, but given that he was elected during the pandemic, she's had to teach through Zoom since his inauguration (though she did make an IRL visit to a British classroom with Kate Middleton earlier this year). Today she's back in a school building, specifically Northern Virginia Community College, where she taught writing during the Obama administration, when her husband was vice president. Biden is the first first lady to work full-time outside the White House.
“Teaching isn’t just what I do. It’s who I am,” says Biden, per Today. She recently told Good Housekeeping, “There are some things you just can’t replace, and I can’t wait to get back in the classroom.” Though recent first ladies, including Laura Bush and Michelle Obama, had careers prior to their husbands' elections, most chose to focus on family and use their platforms to do good while in the White House (though we suppose there's a case to be made that Melania Trump's modeling career continued during her tenure as first lady).
A longtime proponent of community colleges, Biden told Glamour in July, “People should know that community college is a stepping stone to whatever they want to do in the future…. These schools provide such a good, strong foundations. They’re very nurturing.”
She also wrote a special Labor Day tribute in Time to America's teachers as they prepare to head back to school amid a pandemic that is still raging, and in many ways targeting young students more than ever before, writing, “Educators, always remember that right now someone out there is a better thinker because of you. Someone is standing a little taller because you helped her find the confidence she needed. People are kinder because you showed them what that meant. Your strength and resilience, your creativity and kindness, are changing lives and changing the world.”
Imagine asking for an extension on a paper from Dr. Jill Biden! We bet her class starts right on time.
Originally Appeared on Glamour