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Prof. Biden Reports for Duty

Jill Biden, with a volunteer during the national day of service Jan. 19, is teaching two courses this semester. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

And the winner is ... Northern Virginia Community College, where Jill Biden started teaching yesterday.

The vice president's wife, who spent more than two decades working in Delaware schools, was wooed by a number of local community colleges eager for her expertise and star power. The question wasn't whether she would continue teaching -- the question was where.

She'll be an adjunct professor at NVCC's Alexandria campus and spend about 10 hours a week teaching two classes this semester: Developmental English and English as a Second Language, something the school needs for its growing number of immigrant students. Each class has about two dozen students and meets twice a week, Biden spokeswoman Courtney O'Donnell told our colleague Philip Rucker.

O'Donnell said that Biden would be paid the "standard salary" for an adjunct professor with her experience. From what we could tell on NVCC's Web site, adjuncts earn $730 to $862 per credit hour; most courses are three to five credits.

"I have always believed in the power of community colleges to endow students with critical life skills," Biden said in a statement. "I am pleased that I can make a difference by doing what I love to do, teaching people who are excited to learn."

Biden managed to teach both courses before the snow shut the campus in midafternoon. And yes: As second lady, she's accompanied everywhere by a small security detail, but it won't be in the classroom.

By The Reliable Source  |  January 28, 2009; 1:04 AM ET
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I am so proud of Dr. Jill Biden. She exemplifies what it means to be a teacher. We have the same profession, she and I, and I must say, in my 30+ years of teching English and English as a Second Language to students from ALL walks and ethnicities -- from embassadors and diplomats to displaced refugees and immigrants, we have done more for the propagation of world peace and acceptance of American values than most governmental agencies could ever accomplish. ANYONE who finds himself in this profession will attest to the fact that our 'visitors' and re-settled do, indeed, want to learn English and improve their chances here.

My prayers and blessings to you, Jill Biden, for confirming what you and I have long known about our profession -- we are the true embassadors!

Enjoy your new semester and the 40 or so wonderful students that are about to gain immeasurably from you, as you are from them!

Posted by: luville1031 | January 28, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

As a college professor who teaches history and international relations I want to add my appreciation for the continuing academic career of Jill Biden. She teaches English, without which students can't get to first base in any course of study. With all the drumming for math and science these days, the even more fundamental need for English proficiency is hardly ever mentioned. AND, what a totally bleak world and nation this would be if we cranked out millions of mathematicians, scientists, and engineers ignorant of their own membership in history, civilization, and the planetary ecology. English is the prerequisite foundation for all of these.

Posted by: CHForbesSr | January 28, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

“Need recruits?”

Congratulations to Jill Biden for continuing to teach, especially English as a second language. There is plenty to be gained from a course like that. If I had the capability, I would recruit students for her class. There are more than enough people around who would benefit from the finer points of the English language. A couple of groups I have in mind that could expand their skills tremendously include software engineers and previous U.S. Presidents. Did you ever try to follow the instructions for installing software or using digital equipment? The instructions are definitely not written in English; if they were, the instructions could be followed. The previous U.S. President needed help putting coherent sentences together. While he was in school he should have worked harder at communication and thinking instead of doing whatever it is he did.

Posted by: FredZuber | January 28, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

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