Jill Biden, began her official FLOTUS life Thursday evening with a virtual event to honor teachers, among whom she has counted herself for decades.
The 20-minute event was a heartfelt paean to the work of educators, embellished with a promise that she, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are on the side of teachers and their unions, who helped win the election for the new administration.
“The first lady of the United States is one of your own,” Biden said. “Thank you for all that you do in the day-to-day. It’s not always recognized how much your work matters, but it does… Student by student, you are changing the world. “
One day after Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th POTUS, with his wife holding the Biden family’s massive Bible, the first lady convened a meeting with teachers union presidents Randi Weingarten, of the American Federation of Teachers, and Becky Pringle, of the National Education Association, to pay tribute to educators and celebrate the start of what the first lady described as a pro-teachers Biden administration.
Amanda Gorman, 22, and recommend her as the inaugural poet – the youngest ever. Her recitation of her poem “The Hill We Climb” left everyone gasping in admiration.will be further enhanced by her vow to continue working as “Dr. B,” as her students know her (she has a doctorate in education): She’ll be the first FLOTUS in the role’s 231-year history to pursue her career and keep a paying job while serving in the White House as first lady.
The two union presidents could not say enough good things about the first lady, the president and the vice president.
“The president told me to call him Joe on the campaign trail but we all worked too hard to make sure we call him President Biden, so that’s what I’m going to call him,” joked Pringle, whose union has 3 million members.
“We knew we had a partner in the White House, and he didn’t come by himself: We also have Vice President Harris and Dr. Jill Biden, an educator who is still teaching.”
Weingarten, the politically savvy longtime leader of the second-largest teachers’ union, with about 1.7 million members, also pledged to work with the Biden team.
“Today is a moment when educators feel respected,” Weingarten said. “We’re working with an educator in the White House, someone who walks in our shoes, who knows the challenges and aspirations of our children. That is more than I can ever have imagined before this moment.”
Biden said now is the time to seize the moment.
“I promised you would always have seat at the table and I meant it,” she said. “Educators, this is our moment, because we know how to turn chaos into something beautiful – we do it every day in our classrooms.”
In the morning, Biden joined her husband, Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff for a socially distanced presidential prayer service in the State Dining Room at the White House. The service, a tradition dating back to the first inauguration of President George Washington, went virtual this year due to the pandemic.
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