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Close Up Dr Jill Biden In The White House: Why Having An Educator Like Her Matters

Dr Jill Biden In The White House: Why Having An Educator Like Her Matters

Dr. Jill Biden gives remarks at a breast cancer awareness month reception with Vice President Joe Biden, in the living room at the Naval Observatory Residence in Washington, D.C., Nov. 5, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
Dr Jill Biden gives remarks at a breast cancer awareness month reception with President-elect, Joe Biden, in the living room at the Naval Observatory Residence in Washington, D.C., 5 November 2013. | Photo: David Lienemann / Wikicommons
By Christine Andas
By Christine Andas
November 19, 2020
Dr Jill Biden is many things: a mother, an educator, a career woman, and soon — the United States of America's first lady

Dr Jill Biden goes by many names. Adding to her already long list of titles — which were mostly acquired after two master's degrees, a doctoral degree, and while teaching — is the role she soon shall take as America's First Lady.

But whether you refer to her as "Dr B" or "Professor FLOTUS", Jill is set to make history as the first to work outside the White House despite being United States of America's First Lady. Apparently, Jill has decided to continuously teach English and Writing. But is it really a surprise that the former Second Lady had decided to continue her advocacy for education even after Joe Biden's victory?

Read more: Back To School During The COVID-19 Pandemic: How Are Parents Coping With Virtual Learning?

President Barack Obama and Dr Jill Biden listen as First Lady Michelle Obama explains the importance of "Joining Forces," a national initiative encouraging all Americans to support service members and their families, 12 April 2011 | Photo: Linda Hosek / Wikicommons
President Barack Obama and Dr Jill Biden listen as First Lady Michelle Obama explains the importance of "Joining Forces," a national initiative encouraging all Americans to support service members and their families, 12 April 2011 | Photo: Linda Hosek / Wikicommons

Even former President Barack Obama sees Jill's passion. He jokes about Jill always grading papers whenever he saw her. It was true — even while on a campaign bus in 2008, Jill would have a pile of papers, ready to be graded. She did so even during state receptions. "There was a little nook on Air Force Two that contained the vice-presidential seal, and I would sort of wedge myself in there and grade papers on the floor," Jill shared as the Graduate School of Education’s Cubberley Lecturer at Stanford.

Read more: Barack Obama On His New Memoir, "A Promised Land"

But being an educator is more than just grading papers, as most often jest. Jill had published quite a few such as her dissertation Student Retention at the Community College: Meeting Students' Needs in 2006, Don't Forget, God Bless Our Troops in 2012, Where the Light Enters: Building a Family, Discovering Myself in 2019, and Joey: The Story of Joe Biden in 2020. Through these publications, Jill is able to shed light on salient topics that most people need to hear.

There was no way Jill would easily give up the teaching life. Even after President-elect Joe Biden, won the 2008 elections, Jill had decided to take on the challenge of having a double life. Until now, it appears Jill is firm in doing the same.

Education teaches us compassion and kindness, connection to others. Education doesn’t just make us smarter. It makes us whole.

Dr Jill Biden

Dr Jill Biden and granddaughter Finnegan Biden shake hands with students after speaking at a girls education event at the St. Joseph's Secondary School, in Freetown, Sierra Leone, 7 July 2014 | Photo: David Lienemann / Wikicommons
Dr Jill Biden and granddaughter Finnegan Biden shake hands with students after speaking at a girls education event at the St. Joseph's Secondary School, in Freetown, Sierra Leone, 7 July 2014 | Photo: David Lienemann / Wikicommons

Jill understands the need for and the importance of education. She shared her perspective on its value during the Cubberley Lecture at Stanford, saying, "Education teaches us compassion and kindness, connection to others. Education doesn’t just make us smarter. It makes us whole."

Read more: Guide To Surviving College Life During Quarantine: Preparing The Filipino Student For Higher Education During A Pandemic

And at a time like this, being "whole" will be of great help to everyone living in the United States. Which only shows why Jill and her husband Joe are determined to heal the nation.

Dr Jill Biden delivers remarks with Zambian Second Lady Dr. Charlotte Scott at the Shalom Community School, in Lusaka, Zambia, 2 July 2014 | Photo: David Lienemann / Wikicommons
Dr Jill Biden delivers remarks with Zambian Second Lady Dr. Charlotte Scott at the Shalom Community School, in Lusaka, Zambia, 2 July 2014 | Photo: David Lienemann / Wikicommons

The former second lady will push for her cause — giving students a chance to enter community college without paying a dime and expanding cancer research and education.

Pushing for free education is a step towards a good future considering education can promote social justice. Which just shows Jill's vision as something that benefits all — a goal that they have long been campaigning for.

Having Jill in the White House is a win, especially for educators. "[American educators are] going to have one of [their] own in the White House," President-elect Joe Biden proudly announced during his victory speech.

Photo: David Lienemann / Wikicommons
Photo: David Lienemann / Wikicommons

Recognition and representation is one thing, but working to make a change is a different thing. And having Jill, an educator and a modern woman, in the White House can possibly spark change. Jill understands the situation of a working woman, the value of learning, and the significant and influential role of being First Lady.

Read more: First Lady Fashion: 5 Inaugural Gowns We Love

 

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