Lifelong Educator Dr. Jill Biden Honored Teachers With Her First Act As FLOTUS
The dedicated teacher thanked them for "heroic commitment" to their jobs.
As a lifelong, dedicated educator herself, it's no surprise that Dr. Jill Biden's first official White House event as First Lady honored teachers. Dr. Biden has only been in the White House for two days and she's already getting down to business. And the business she prioritized was thanking educators who have been challenged during the COVID-19 pandemic in ways we have not seen in living memory.
In a virtual meeting with educators on Jan. 21, shared on her new FLOTUS Instagram feed, Biden told the teachers involved, "I couldn't wait one more day to have this meeting, because I have never felt prouder of our profession. In this pandemic, educators have shown heroic commitment to their students.”
Biden went on to credit educators with truly going above and beyond the call of duty in 2020 and wanted to know she felt "inspired" by their dedication. "Teaching late nights because your students don't have access to computers until somebody in their family, who's finished using the computer, can give it to them; driving hot spots to neighborhoods without Wi-Fi; taking tearful calls from parents who felt like they just could not juggle at all; supporting parents, distributing food, doing everything that you can to support students’ mental health," she said at the event. "And educators, you've done it all, while taking care of your own families and facing your own challenges."
Biden herself is an English professor at North Virginia Community College, a job she plans to continue throughout her time in the White House. This decision will make her the first spouse of a president to have a job outside of her official duties as FLOTUS.
Her decision to reach out to educators with her first official duty in the White House is yet another reminder of just how much her lifelong dedication to teaching really means to her. So much so, in fact, that she had a quote from Founding Father Benjamin Franklin hand embroidered on the inside of her white coat on Inauguration Day that read, according designer Gabriela Hearst, "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn."
As a teacher and a mom of three, Dr. Biden has a very specific kind of understanding for the unique struggles teachers and parents have faced with education during the pandemic. And it is so refreshing to see her coming right out of the gate as FLOTUS to honor the issue that is closest to her heart. Honoring educators.