Bernard, Born to Ball


Coach Bernard played college football in California and New Mexico.

By Priscilla Rivas, Staff Writer

Have you ever wondered what our teachers’ lives were before teaching or what led them to teach at Miami Senior High? Football coach and social studies teacher Mr. Bernard used to be a big time football player.

Mr. Bernard grew up with his five brothers in Hialeah where he also attended Hialeah High School. “One of the best things about my high school was that everyone was so sociable, and I had so much freedom,” he said. Mr. Bernard enjoyed the various traditions and different cultures his school provided which he believes prepared him for when he went to college on the west coast.

During his high school years, he also played football as quarterback and defense. “A lot of people looked up to me,” he said. He continued playing football in college at California West Hills for two more years. He then spent his last 3 years in college in New Mexico where he finished his football career. After college though, he did have tryout opportunities to play in the NFL.

“I always knew I wanted to do something within coaching after I finished playing,” he said. In 2011, Mr. Bernard was offered a spot to coach at Miami Senior High by a college teammate, Coach Teddy.

Mr. Bernard explains that the easiest part of coaching is coming up with a game plan but stated the hardest is, “Getting kids to abide what you want to do as a coach and to build chemistry.” Mr. Bernard reports Miami High’s football team had a good season this year. “Building chemistry together is going to benefit our football players as seniors,” he said.

Mr. Bernard has been an athlete since the second grade.

Mr. Bernard didn’t always teach at Miami Senior High. His first job ever was in high school as a cook at Denny’s. After graduating from college, it took him about 1 month to get hired at his first school, Edison High. He then transferred to Citrus Middle School, where he taught for 4 years and then made it to Miami Senior High where he was offered both teaching and coaching positions.

However, Mr. Bernard didn’t always want to be a teacher. He had been an athlete since the 2nd grade and stated, “Sports have always been my passion.”  He was inspired to be a teacher by his childhood teacher Mr. Bradly who taught for 35 years at Allapattah Middle.

He later experienced co-teaching 9th grade World History, 10th grade English 2, and working with TMH and SPED kids, and then grew to love the job. He explains he and his co- teacher start class with an Opening Routine then transition to Direct Instruction, where he can then work with kids one on one.

“I also enjoy teaching my less fortunate students because I know I could relate from my own high school years,” he said. However, Mr. Bernard admits that the toughest part about being a teacher is dealing with the kids who are less fortunate.

Outside of work, Mr. Bernard has many hobbies. He plays pick-up Basketball and fishes with close friends. He has also traveled to many places such as California, Chicago, and Nebraska. He also wants to keep traveling.

“I want to visit Africa because I know my roots are from there and I want to know how my culture came about,” he said.