Jill Biden's students call her 'Dr. B,' and her Rate My Professors reviews show she's respected for being 'tough' but 'inspirational'

Monica Humphries
screenshot from the DNCC’s livestream of the 2020 Democratic National Convention
A screenshot from the livestream of the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Handout/DNCC via Getty Images
  • Jill Biden has been an educator for decades and earned a doctorate in education in 2007. In the White House, she plans to serve as the first-ever first lady to hold a full-time job.

  • Over the weekend, an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal criticized the future first lady's use of the title "Dr."

  • The author has received overwhelming backlash for the piece, and many people, including the former first ladies Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton, have come to Biden's defense. 

  • In reviews on Rate My Professors, reviewers call Biden "Dr. B" and describe her teaching style as "tough" but "inspirational."

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Over the weekend, The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed about future first lady Jill Biden that urged her to remove her "Dr." title.

The op-ed received overwhelming backlash, and former coworkers, educators, and politicians have rallied in support of Biden, who earned a doctorate in education in 2007 from the University of Delaware. 

On Twitter, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris' husband, Doug Emhoff, wrote, "This story would never have been written about a man." Leaders like the former first ladies Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton also came to Biden's defense. 

On Sunday, Biden tweeted, "Together, we will build a world where the accomplishments of our daughters will be celebrated, rather than diminished."

On Rate My Professors, a website where students can leave feedback about their classes and teachers, Biden is frequently referred to as "Dr. B" and "Dr. Biden" and respected for her care for her class and her grading style. 

In her decades of teaching, Biden has collected over 70 reviews on Rate My Professors

jill biden
Jill Biden arrives to speak in support of her husband, Joe Biden, during a drive-in campaign rally. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

For more than three decades, Biden was a writing instructor at Delaware Technical Community College.

In 2009, Biden started teaching at Northern Virginia Community College as an adjunct English professor when her husband took office as vice president. Biden has plans to continue to teach after President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in, and she'll make history as the first-ever first lady to hold a full-time job while in the White House.

Decades in education has left a lengthy track record of Jill Biden's teaching style.

At Northern Virginia Community College, the English educator had earned an overall score of 3.9 out of 5 on her Rate My Professors page at the time of writing. Almost 60% of reviewers wrote they would take her class again, and her difficulty rating was 3.4.

More than 15 reviewers called her "Dr. B" or "Dr. Biden," and not a single one discussed her earned title.

The review that's seen as "most helpful" on the site is from 2018: "Dr. Biden is a wonderful teacher. She has taught me a lot in English 111. You should definitely take her," a reviewer wrote.

A huge chunk of reviews warn future students that Biden is a 'very tough grader'

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Joe Biden with Jill Biden. Andrew Harnik/AP

Several reviewers mention Biden's tough grading.

"Good teacher, but a very tough grader. Be ready to grind to pass the class," one reviewer said.

Some who said she was a tough grader still said they enjoyed her class and appreciated the challenge.

"Loved her class! Dr. B is an amazing professor," one person wrote. "She gives tough criticism, but it's exactly what you'll need to improve your writing skills. I've improved a lot, thanks to her class!"

A majority of the reviews are positive

"AMAZING professor. She really cares about each and every one of her students. She has a big heart and a passion for education. Thank you so much for being the best teacher EVER Dr. Biden!" someone wrote shortly after Joe Biden won the presidential election.

"Dr. Biden was literally my favorite professor. With all she has going on, she made time to stay after class to assist with anything we needed help with," someone else posted.

Even reviewers who said they hated English said they learned to love Jill Biden's class: "I absolutely hate English. But she made it applicable to work and life. ... She challenges you to become a better a writer and to have an open mind. She's made a point to know her students. Truly enjoyed her class, definitely recommend her," one student wrote.

Students will likely continue to find Biden inspirational

Seven reviewers called Biden inspirational, and one former student wrote, "Dr. Biden is an excellent professor who is inspirational in all ways."

A review from 2011 said, "I hope everyone is lucky enough to have her as a professor."

In an op-ed for Business Insider, Nazila Jamshidi, a graduate of Northern Virginia Community College, wrote Biden's work and title of doctor served as an inspiration to her and other students to aim high with their educational goals.

"In her journey as First Lady, Dr. Biden, using her proper title, will become an even more powerful and inspirational role model for women and girls," Jamshidi wrote. "Through people like her, we can all learn that an education is something no one can take away from you, no matter how misogynistic an op-ed they write."

Editor's note: Rate My Professors does not require reviewers to verify if they've taken the classes they review. Representatives for Jill Biden did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. 

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