Teacher Feature: An Interview With Mr. Forrest


Joon Echols, Senior Staff Writer

In your opinion, when walking into school can students expect to be met with, or to meet with teachers that give them positive energy, environments, feedback, etc? (Why should they be able to?) 

“I’m hoping it’s always positive, alright? So I want people to feel welcome, respected, and to always feel like there’s somebody out there; to help them. So positivity, to me, is key and crucial to interactions; especially when it comes to my interactions with my students, I want them to know I’m there for them.”

Should educators follow a teaching policy of pessimistic, optimistic, or neutral?

“Optimistic all the way. Again, optimism is successive, it breeds success, it shows people that you care about them; and it’s just the way to go. Negativity and pessimism, to me, is just energy that shouldn’t be examined.”

Which option would be best for college students studying to be teachers?

“I think the more that students, student teachers, or students in college can be exposed to schools, the better it is. So I guess I would almost, maybe, double the student teaching; and then less of the coursework in college; because I think this is a job in which you learn best by doing, and by doing that it makes you a better teacher.”

What made you choose optimism over the other options?

“Because it works for me; and when somebody’s optimistic, and someone cares for me and is respectful of me, that’s what I feed off of. So if that’s what I like, I want to make sure that I also give that to people, and my students who I’m working with. I want them to know that, again, they are cared for; and that people really, really, are looking out for their wellbeing.”

Do you categorize your teaching methods as closer to the book or more freelanced based on your positive-easy-going-supportive system?

“Oh more freelanced. I’m an alternative education teacher to begin with; I came to Victor when we had an alternative education program. So books are really good for ideas and curriculum no doubt; but I think, the way to teach is all individualized. So I’m pro-student, I know that all students are different so, I want to make sure im meeting all of their needs.”

How does it feel knowing you’ve been named, mostly by me, the most positive teacher in Victor Senior High?

“That means a lot to me; it truly does, so thank you for recognizing that. I want to thank you for always allowing me to help though; and you’re always so respectful, and kind to me. So I can’t do it without you; we’re a team.”

Would you consider this a major accomplishment in the lifespan of your career or just another day at work? (How is it important?)

“No, I think it’s a major accomplishment; in my career. I want to make sure that I make a lasting impact on kids. I love my job, and I love what I do, and I want to make sure that students will remember me for the positivity that i give to them; and also the kindness, and respect that they so ultimately deserve.”

Do you believe this is an achievement devoted solely to you, or did the support of the student body help with that?

“I think the student body helped with that. Again I can’t help somebody who’s willing not to get help. So I feed off my students, and my students need me, or my students know that I’m there for them; knowing that makes me know that I can help them. So I think it’s a collaborative effort between students and teachers; no doubt about it.”

Truly and honestly do you believe your happy personality, through all your years at Victor, has left an impact on your students? (Why?) 

“Im hoping, I’m really hoping. Again life goes on after Victor, I know that, and i’ve had so many students graduate who will come back, or who will email me; and so to me that means the world to me, that they still remember the things that we did together. So I hope that students will take forth positivity and kindness as they go out into the world far beyond Victor High School.”

Is there anything us students can do that will help spread your message of positivity through the school, the district, our homes, and all throughout our lives? (How can we help?) 

“Just be kind; like you all are. So spread kindness, know people’s stories, everybody has a story, everybody needs to be treated with kindness, and respectability; and so by doing that, that makes me feel like i’ve made an impact on my students, and community in general.”

Would you be willing to give us, the Victor Voice, your current students going to college, your former students who went to college, or those of us in general moving on with their lives, a piece of advice or a tidbit of positivity to put our minds at ease and better prepare us for the future? 

“Just know that you have a whole wonderful life ahead of you; and there’s so many accomplishments that you’re about to do. Sometimes what happens though, is because it’s so new, and so different, you may be a little apprehensive; but I’m telling you the truth is, it’s going to be a wonderful world. Take forth kindness, take forth respectability; enjoy all of the memories you’re about to make.”