HUNTSVILLE, Ala — Coach Forrest Carter at McNair Middle School has only been teaching PE for two years, but he is no stranger to the world of athletics.
"Before this I was a semi-professional basketball player." smiles Coach Forrest Carter, the Valley's Top Teacher. "I traveled around the U.S. playing for seven different teams."
So why did he become a teacher? He says when he was growing up in a rough area in Decatur, it was the teachers at his school who truly saved his life. Now he wants to give back.
"Me coming into the school and them putting their arms around me, it gave me a different outlook," shares Coach Carter. "It said somebody does care for me. I kind of grabbed hold to them and they kind of led me. It got me to change my mindset, my thinking. So I want to do the same thing for someone else."
Coach Carter's students say he motivates them to do better and that he is a genuinely good person.
"He is nice, he is strict, he don't play," smiles Cortney West, an eighth grade student. "And he is a good coach."
"He is a really nice guy," says Jordan Williams, a seventh grade student. "He cares about us and he is fun."
Coach Carter puts a focus on the future of his students. He says if they see someone who works extra hard or is very athletic, they try to provide that student with the resources and opportunities to succeed.
"Like my background, we didn't have the money," shares Coach Carter. "So you know, when I got out of school I had to go straight home and ride the bus. But some of these kids, we try to get them resources to help them to make sure. Hey, you got the talent, let's see how we can help you to use that for this team, or this school, and so on."
Coach Carter teaches his kids about the food groups, body systems, and stretching. But he also just wants to show them positivity. He says with everything going on in society today, he wants to be an uplifting black male role model to his students.
"So there is somebody out there that looks like them, and that's me," explains Coach Carter. "I pride myself, I really do. I pride myself on making sure that I don't care what background you come from, I want you to be able to say 'If he can do it, so can I.'"
Do you know someone who should be the Valley's Top Teacher? Nominate them by fill out the form below: