Jill Biden could become the only first lady to work paid job outside White House

Christopher Brito

President-Elect Joe Biden is projected to become the 46th president of the United States and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, plans to continue teaching, potentially becoming the only first lady to hold a paid job outside the White House. 

Dr. Biden, a full-time English professor at Northern Virginia Community College, previously told "CBS Sunday Morning" in August that she would "love to" keep teaching if she became first lady after correspondent Rita Braver posed the question. 

"If we get to the White House, I'm gonna continue to teach," she said. "It's important, and I want people to value teachers and know their contributions, and lift up the profession."

In 231 years of the role's existence, Dr. Biden would be making history of her own. Historian Katherine Jellison, a professor at Ohio University who studies first ladies, told CBS News on Saturday that Dr. Biden would be the only first lady to hold a paid job and first to have a doctorate degree.

Dr. Biden worked as a community college teacher as second lady when Mr. Biden served as vice president under President Obama. She identifies herself as "lifelong educator" in her Twitter profile and gave her Democratic National Convention speech from her classroom in Delaware where she once taught. She reflected on the significance of teaching to "CBS Sunday Morning." 

"I teach a lot of immigrants, and refugees," she said. "I love their stories, I love who they are as people, and I love the fact that I can help them on their path to success."

In the interview, Biden said if she becomes first lady, she'll advocate for free community college tuition, funding for cancer research, and support for military families, as she did as second lady.

When asked if Americans will see "unconventional things" from her as first lady, Dr. Biden responded, "I hope so."  

 "Things are, they're so serious, and these times are so tough," she said. "Sometimes it takes a little levity, a little laughter to lighten things up. A little joy."

On Saturday, Dr. Biden posted a photo of her and her husband on Twitter after he gained enough votes to secure the presidency. "He will be a President for all of our families," she wrote.

He will be a President for all of our families. pic.twitter.com/iGPKLMMIcK

— Dr. Jill Biden (@DrBiden) November 7, 2020

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