Details of Jill Biden’s return to teaching revealed

As of this week, the first lady is teaching remotely amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Jill Biden, a longtime educator and wife of President Joe Biden, has returned to teaching and she’s making history in the process by becoming the first first lady to hold a full-time job.

The White House shared details about Dr. Biden’s return to her students at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), where she teaches English. Administrative documents obtained by CBS News reflect efforts by the first lady to keep a low profile. There was also concern about how to list her name in the class schedule, among other things.

“I think she was going to be listed as ‘TBA,'” the NOVA Community College president told Dr. Biden’s administrative colleagues in an email in November. It was ultimately decided that her name “Jill T. Biden” would be listed on the schedule for morning classes.

Read More: Michelle Obama defends Jill Biden against WSJ op-ed critiquing her ‘Dr.’ title

Dr. Biden reportedly showed no signs of curbing her teaching duties once she and Joe Biden moved into the White House. As theGRIO previously reported, Biden continued to teach when her husband was vice-president. She previously noted that she enjoys hearing the stories of her students many of whom are immigrants and refugees.

“I love who they are as people,” she said, “and I love the fact that I can help them on their path to success.”

Prior to Biden’s 2020 election win, Dr. Biden made clear that 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,” Dr. Biden added. As first lady, she has vowed to advocate for free community college tuition, funding for cancer research, and support for military families.

“I am an English teacher at NOVA — not First Lady,” she wrote in an email to colleagues the week after Biden’s inauguration. “I am trying to keep my roles separate as I did as Second Lady. I appreciate your enthusiasm, but I want students to see me as their English teacher. I am not mentioning it in my classes AT ALL. Thanks for honoring my teacher identity. Jill”

When Joe Biden won the presidential election in November, the NOVA dean notified fellow administrators that “[Dr. Biden’s senior adviser]…said it was not a question of if she would teach but how,” the dean wrote, “It may be that her salary will have to be donated to the Foundation or an endowed chair would need to be set up so that her salary would come from a non-state source.”

NOVA confirmed to CBS News that Dr. Biden’s salary was funded through its foundation, and the funds “are not attributable to any specific donor.”

As of this week, the first lady is teaching remotely amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Read More: Jill Biden says she plans to still teach if she becomes first lady

According to CBS News, Dr. Biden is teaching three introductory English courses, which include live virtual instructions and online classwork.

Dr. Biden has not physically returned to classroom teaching because faculty is limited at the college due to the pandemic.

Last summer, she hit the campaign trail with her husband ahead of the November election. At the time, Dr. Biden submitted her leave of absence for NOVA’s fall semester.

“I am not ready to retire…but I KNOW we have to work as hard as we can to win. So, I’m going to sign up for hybrid training for teaching NEXT semester,” she wrote in an email to an associate dean. “Life has taken such surprising turns for all of us… hope you and your family are well. Thanks for your patience.”

*theGRIO’s Biba Adams contributed to this report

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