Dr. Jill Biden Back to Teaching In-Person at Virginia Community College Starting Next Week

The first lady is expected to begin instructing students in-person the day after Labor Day

US First Lady Jill Biden speaks with students in Becky Taylors classroom as she visits the Christa McAuliffe School in Concord, New Hampshire, on March 17, 2021
Dr. Jill Biden. Photo: SUSAN WALSH/POOL/AFP via Getty

After months of remote teaching, Dr. Jill Biden will soon get to see her students in person.

The first lady and longtime educator will return to the classroom next week, teaching classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays on the Alexandria campus of Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), per a class schedule cited by the Washington Post.

According to the schedule, beginning Labor Day week, Dr. Biden will teach the in-person classes for 13 weeks.

Last semester, Dr. Biden taught her English introductory courses — including college composition courses — remotely, due to the ongoing pandemic. Though her in-person classes will resume, they will be subject to safety precautions.

According to its website, the college has implemented a mask policy, which requires all faculty and students to "wear a face covering that covers the mouth and nose at all times while indoors on NOVA campuses or at NOVA off-campus sites, regardless of vaccination status." The policy states that instructors can remove their face coverings when teaching from a six-foot distance.

A spokesperson for the first lady did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for further details.

Dr. Biden, 70, has been a member of NOVA's faculty since 2009, the same year her husband, Joe Biden, became vice president. As she told PEOPLE at the time: "I want to do what I love. I knew if I let any time lapse, I would be sucked into Joe's life."

On Thursday, Dr. Biden penned an essay for Time magazine about the important role of teachers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, writing that educators have "worked through the anxiety and unknowns, often while struggling to support their own families at home."

"As difficult as it has been, I have never been prouder to be a teacher. We put our shoulders back and did the work that needed to be done," Dr. Biden wrote. "We leaned on each other —even from six feet away — and carried the weight of this burden together."

Dr. Biden is the first U.S. first lady to maintain a full-time job while carrying out her White House duties.

"It's important," she said last year, upon announcing her intention to continue teaching English, as she has done for decades. "I want people to value teachers and know their contributions and lift up their profession."

The week after her husband's inauguration as president, CBS reported earlier, Dr. Biden wrote to her colleagues: "I am an English teacher at NOVA — not first lady. 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."

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