It’s been a really inspiring week in Washington– because the teachers are in town! This week I had the true honor of welcoming some very special guests to Washington DC: the 2009 Teachers of the Year. 55 of them traveled to DC representing all of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense, American Samoa, the Marianna Islands, and the Virgin Islands. I’ve been a teacher for 28 years, so I know how hard these teachers work and was thrilled to meet them and welcome them to our home, the Vice President’s Residence.
Dr. Jill Biden, an educator of 28 years, addresses the 2009 National Teachers of the Year reception at the Vice President's residence in Washington D.C. Photo by Joshua Hoover
On Monday night – all of the teachers came (by bus of course) for a reception and a "class photo." I felt so at home with this group – we could have talked for hours about our work, our students, and our teaching experiences. Our dog Champ Biden even made an appearance to congratulate the teachers. As I told the group on Monday, each of these teachers deserves recognition for being the best in their state or region - but I must say that every teacher is a ‘teacher of the year’ in my experience, and I have nothing but admiration for all of my colleagues around the country.
Dr. Jill Biden poses with the 2009 National Teachers of the Year at a reception in their honor at the Vice President's Residence in Washington D.C. Photo by Joshua Hoover
On Tuesday morning, I taught two English classes at my community college in Virginia, quickly changed in the school bathroom, and raced to the White House so that I could be there to celebrate the teachers and congratulate Anthony Mullen, the final winner along with President Obama, Michelle Obama, and Arne Duncan. Anthony teaches Special Education to 9-12th graders in Connecticut. I used to teach at-risk students in the high schools, so I was truly excited to spend time with him and his family. It was a beautiful day in the Rose Garden and I know that everyone there left feeling inspired.
As I told the group of teachers on Monday night, the greatest thing about this Administration is that the President and my husband Joe not only believe in education, they are investing in it. I know that teachers have many challenges in their classrooms, but we’re going to keep working together to make things better. I hope someone reading this post might even be inspired to become a 2010, 2015, or 2020 Teacher of the Year. You won’t regret it and our country needs you.