On 28 August, the President of the United States and the First Lady headed to Eliot-Hine Middle School in Washington, DC, in honour of the first day of the 2023-2024 school years. In a video shared by The Recount on X - formerly known as Twitter - Biden made his way into one of the classrooms, prompting applause and cheers from students in the background, with one shouting: “Joe Biden!”
The video showed Biden giving a student a hug, while students in the seats continued cheering. The politician then posed for the camera with a young girl, who puckered up her lips and put on a funny a duck face while holding up a peace sign with her fingers.
The president laughed at the camera, pointed at the student, and joked: “She’s the school principal.” In response, she jokingly gave a thumbs up and said: “Yeah.”
After taking photos, the student also shared her excitement at the opportunity to shake hands with the US president, as she told her fellow classmates: “I’m shaking hands with the president... I’m going to be famous!”
Both Biden and the other students laughed at her remark, as he told the young girl that she was “going to be president herself.” The middle schooler agreed, and quipped to her classmates: “I’m going assistant president, y’all.”
In the comments of the post, many fans went on to praise the “sweet” interaction between Biden and the student.
“‘I’m going to be assistant President, y’all.’ So cute!” one responded on X, while another wrote: “I’m so jealous… This is so cool.”
A third wrote: “The joy of the young woman with the president pretty much says it all.”
President Biden surprises a class at a Washington, D.C. public school. pic.twitter.com/ddOlOHILvZ
— The Recount (@therecount) August 28, 2023
This week’s visit to the middle school also kicked off several back-to-school activities for the First Lady, who is travelling to the Midwest later this week to celebrate teachers and highlight the mental health needs of students.
Dr Biden - who is also a longtime college professor - has continued her career outside of the White House, as she teaches English and writing at Northern Virginia Community College. She also taught at the college during the eight years that her husband was Vice President of the United States.
Shortly before the school year started in August 2022, Dr Biden recalled how she was set on keeping her teaching job when she first became the Second Lady. In an interview with Real Simple magazine, she described how she overcame the doubts that people had when it came to handling both jobs.
“I think people were a little sceptical. Could I truly do it, since I was the first one to try it?” she said. “But I knew I wanted to teach.” She said she told her staff: “This is what I want to do. We have to figure it out.”
She recalled how she was able to manage her teaching duties while her husband was vice president, saying: “I saw it work then, and I knew we could figure out how to do it now.”