News Michelle Obama Declares She's Back in First Major Speech Since Leaving Office By Alicia Brunker Alicia Brunker Instagram Alicia Brunker is a freelance writer who covers celebrity, royal, and fashion news for InStyle.com. She joined InStyle's digital team in 2017, and previously contributed to ELLE, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, and WWD. InStyle's editorial guidelines Updated on February 2, 2018 @ 06:15PM Pin Share Tweet Email Since departing the White House a year ago, and staying relatively under-the-radar after President Trump took office, Michelle Obama is back! On Friday, the former First Lady arrived at the Kennedy Center for the School Counselor of the Year ceremony in a long-sleeve floral frock to make her first major speech in more than a year. And, her impassioned words couldn't come at a better time. “I’m back! This is what back looks like,” she declared to the crowd of teachers and counselors, who attended the collaborative event between the American School Counselor Association and Obama's Reach Higher initiative—according to People. Paul Morigi/Getty Images Obama thanked the educators for their service, especially during our turbulent political climate, where poor behavior is "modeled in public," and creates an unsettled school environment. “Trust me, I know this work isn’t easy, especially right now,” Obama said. “I know there’s a lot of anxiety out there. And there’s no denying our kids, what they see on TV, the kind of behavior being modeled in public life, that, yes impacts their behavior and their character.” She continued: “But at times like this, the work that you all are doing is even more urgent. Even more critically important. You all have the power to teach kids what it means to go high when others go low." Obama's words mirrored her speech from the 2016 Democratic National Convention, but in her signature diplomatic style, she didn't call out Trump by name. Sometimes you don't know what you have until it's gone. And, oh how we've missed you, Michelle!