“Strict, but fair, and she assigned us a lot of homework, which paid off later, as she helped us, with her elegant style, and her tireless follow-up, to overcome our fears of academic writing in English,” says Iyad Hashem, a student of Arab origins, who studied under Dr. Jill Biden, a course “Writing 111”, at Nova Community College, Alexandria, Northern Virginia.
And when she was the second lady, during the two administrations of former President Barack Obama, Jill Biden largely avoided talking to students about her life in politics and evaded questions about her husband, and at times, she referred to him vaguely, as “a relative.” According to what she said in an interview with the US National Public Radio, “NPR,” in 2013.
During her eight years as a second lady, Mrs. Biden played two major roles; First as the wife of the Vice President, and what she has had to do on diplomatic trips abroad, for example. The second was teaching English, which she will continue to do as a first lady when she returns to Nova, becoming the first woman in this position to continue her career.
Iyad added, in an interview with Sky News Arabia, that the lessons “Dr. Biden was enjoyable, but not without difficulty, and during which we used a lot of effort”, and confirms that he was considering abandoning the idea of learning in the United States, but “to encourage Dr. Biden, And allocating time to talk with each student on his own, to highlight the distinction in his articles, and to point out the negatives in order to avoid them later, gave me a lot of confidence. ”
Razan Youssef, who is also of Arab descent, and studied “Writing 111” with Mrs. Biden, in “Nova”, told Sky News Arabia, “Dr. Biden was patient, and she motivated me when she spoke to me in private, and encouraged me to write correctly,” She explains notes to me that I did not understand during the lesson, which made me progress quickly later, and upon the issuance of the results I discovered that I had achieved high marks that I did not expect. ”
Razan, who studied at the college between 2013 and 2015, added, “We sometimes forget that she is the second American lady. She was humble and cute, and keeps us engrossed, in addition to being very intelligent and knowledgeable.” But Razan notes that “Dr. Biden was known about her.” They don’t give high marks easily. ”
The students of “Nova”, “Dr. B”, as some call her, a good rating as a school, with 4 marks out of 5, according to the “Rate My Professor” website, in which students write their impressions of the teachers.
One student said, “English is my second language, and she has improved a lot through her lessons (Dr. Biden). Her lesson was fun, and she made him seem easy and simple to help us learn difficult subjects, and if I had the opportunity, I would choose to study the class with her again. The university is very lucky. Because Dr. Biden works on it. ”
Another describes her as “not believing as a professor and as a human being, and studying English with her was a great experience.”
But one of the students appealed to his colleagues not to study in Dr. Biden’s class, because “she simply does not care about teaching, and we used to spend our weekly class with her in the lab without doing anything,” adding that she is “strict about awarding grades.”
“Dr. Biden will keep teaching at Northern Virginia Community College separate from her public role,” the New York Times quoted Michael La Rosa, a spokesperson for the first lady, as saying.
A spokeswoman for the college, Huang Nguyen, told Sky News Arabia that press reports confirmed that “Professor Jill Biden will continue to teach writing in English at Northern Virginia Community College.”
But a spokeswoman for the college confirmed that “the spring semester has already begun,” refusing to provide additional details about the exact date Biden will resume her academic work and indicated that this is the prerogative of the press office of the first lady.
Jill Biden, who is 69 years old, will be the first American first woman to hold a foreign job, and she has faced some criticism for that, including what was stated in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, urging her to give up the title of “doctor” and focus on being “the first lady”.
But the first lady refused the invitation, and wrote in a tweet on Twitter: “Together, we will build a world where the achievements of our daughters are celebrated, rather than diminished.”
Ms. Biden has been teaching for more than three decades and has taught English at a community college in Delaware, a public high school, and a teen psychiatric hospital.