Teacher Tea: Jenkins


Mia Nguyen

Jenkins helps a student with a concept in their current physics unit during block lunch. They were learning about electrostatic concepts.

Physics teacher Bernard Jenkins wasn’t always interested in teaching. He worked in a spectrum of professions before eventually ending up teaching pre-ap Physics at Hebron. 

“The reason I started teaching is because I spent about 40 years with the Boy Scouts, and you can see there are some people who want to develop and think about having a good future,” Jenkins said. “I think education is a big part of that.” 

Right after college, Jenkins took on a job in a research lab, later becoming a sales manager to provide for his wife and kids. 

“Most of my career was in management, sales management,” Jenkins said. “But it really paid a lot better and I had a family to support, so I needed it. It’s drastically different. Right out of college, I spent ten years in research and that was great fun, if you like solving puzzles and stuff like that, but it paid worse than teaching. After I got married, I decided I needed a real job.” 

Jenkins originally majored in chemistry, and taught integrated chemistry and physics at North Dallas High School. He eventually ended up teaching physics again at the same school because of the lack of physics teachers. 

“I taught for awhile at North Dallas in Dallas ISD,” Jenkins said. “I started (teaching) at North Dallas because those kids were desperately poor and they really needed an avenue to get out of that, and education was the only thing they would have.”

Besides teaching classes, Jenkins also sponsored Model United Nations and currently sponsors the Teen Republicans Club. Jenkins enjoys discussing politics and current news.  

“I used to sponsor model UN, but it never got off the ground because everyone who wanted to do that also had debate and they were just tied up with debate, because they are very similar,” Jenkins said. “So we could never get everyone together to practice. Now I sponsor Teen Republicans. They talk about politics and some of the things going on in current events. There is so much missing information in the news, and we discuss the missing pieces.” 

Despite not always being interested in physics, Jenkins said he enjoys the correlation between real life and physics, and likes joking about the difficulty of his class, and he will continue teaching physics.

“My favorite part of physics is the pain and misery imparted on the students,” Jenkins said. “I like that you can show real world examples of how stuff works. I think it’s an easy class to teach, but maybe not to take.”