The first working First Lady


Photo by Creative Commons

Dr. Jill Biden dances with her husband Joe Biden at the Homestates Ball in 2009.

Bela De Jesus, Managing Editor of Global Perspectives

With the eyes of the world focused on the United States during an unprecedented election, history is being made in many different ways. Amongst these historic events include the induction of Dr. Jill Biden, who will be the first First Lady to work while in the White House. 

During President-Elect Joe Biden’s term, Biden plans to teach full time at Northern Virginia Community College while living in the White House. With two masters in English and a Doctorate in Education, Biden has a deep love for teaching and her students. Although the task of not only being First Lady but also a teacher seems strenuous, Biden has experience with this undertaking, as she taught while being second lady of the United States. 

Many see this undertaking as an immense shift in the role of the First Lady. To express how great a development this was, History and Social Science Teacher Christian Dozois stated that, “The First Lady has veered from being a hostess [in the past] to taking on a cause that is their calling card.” Because of the history of the role of the First Lady being more on the surface, Biden is developing that role further, and showing that the First Lady can do much more than the precedent set for her. Dozois expressed that she is a great model for the future of the role, which has changed greatly over the course of the United States.

However, Biden still plans to focus on her own cause like first ladies before her. Her goals are bettering the community college system, helping military families and veterans, and advancing cancer research. These ideals go hand in hand with her life experience, and are a reflection of her husband’s politics as well.   

When asked what Jill Biden’s role means for the United States education system, and public school teachers especially, Tameka Carter, Assistant Dean of Pluralism & Multicultural Affairs and former public school educator, said that “She is going to bring importance to the profession and help our great United States realize that everything starts in education.” Carter believes she will fight for all types of education, and that her wisdom due to her years of experience will create special opportunities for teachers across the country. 

Jill Biden is a shining example of how the United States is changing for the better. She is proof that strict roles placed upon women, especially on women in power, are capable of change, and that being a respected First Lady does not mean she has to give up what she loves the most.