Dr. Jill Biden will make history by continuing to teach when she becomes first lady

This mom will keep working when her husband takes the Oval Office.

Dr. Jill Biden will make history by continuing to teach when she becomes first lady
Dr. Jill Biden/Instagram

President-elect Joe Biden has made history. Vice president-elect Kamala Harris has made history. And soon, Dr. Jill Biden will make history as the first First Lady to keep her job as her spouse takes the top job in the nation.

Yes, Dr. Biden will continue working as a college professor even after she moves into the White House.

Her love of teaching is a lifelong passion. For her keynote at the Democratic National Convention, she spoke from a classroom at Brandywine High School in Delaware, where she taught English from 1991 to 1993. When she was Second Lady she kept working, teaching English at Northern Virginia Community College while her husband was Vice President.


"If we get to the White House, I'm going to continue to teach," Dr. Biden previously said in an interview with CBS. "I want people to value teachers and know their contributions and to lift up the profession."

Now that we know that her family will be going to the White House, historians are getting pumped.

Katherine Jellison is a professor at Ohio University and a historian of First Ladies.

"She will really be bringing the role of first lady into the 21st century," Jellison told USA Today of Biden, noting no previous FLOTUS has been able to do what most American women now do: Balance paid work with family time.

"Americans have historically wanted their first ladies to be in the White House and at the president's side whenever possible," Jellison says. "Maybe the time has come when Americans will be more accepting of the idea that a president's wife can simultaneously be a first lady and a working professional."

American women do it. So can the next FLOTUS.

[A version of this post was first published on August 19, 2020. It has been updated.]

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