After spending almost four decades in the classroom, beloved special education teacher Douglas Antrim has decided to retire at the end of this school year.
Antrim has spent over 20 years as part of the Trooper family, although he confessed that he hardly ever kept track of the exact amount of time he has spent working at Eastwood. “I don’t count the years, they don’t really matter to me.”
Reminiscing on his long career, Antrim feels as if he has accomplished everything he set out to achieve as a teacher. “I did what I wanted to do and I’m very happy about that,” Antrim commented. He stressed that being a teacher was a choice, not a requirement, and he believes that he's done everything in his power to help students he has worked with thrive not only academically but as people altogether. He certainly is glad he made the decision to teach 38 years ago.
Looking back on his years at Eastwood, Antrim has noticed major changes in student and teacher demographics and the school system as a whole. "When I first started teaching here, the population of the school consisted mostly of Caucasians. Now, the school is very diversified." He also described how the physical state and surroundings of the school have changed. "Eastwood is old, it's condition is not in the same state it was back when I started teaching, but it still is a good school. The school used to be surrounded by grass and trees, but now parking lots surround the building," he elaborated. According to Antrim, not only have Eastwood's population and surroundings changed over time, but the requirements of students has also been adjusted to meet state criteria. "When I started teaching, there were no standarized tests. All a student had to achieve were grades of B's or A's and they would be able to move on. Now, students must take and pass standardized tests like the EOC exams. So pass your tests, kids!" he concluded.
With the closing of a satisfying career comes new opportunities for Antrim to pursue the hobbies he finds most enjoyable. His plans for retirement will consist of him moving to Grandfalls, Texas, a rural town with a very small population. There he hopes to spend time with his family, especially his grandchildren, and do the things he has always wanted to do.
Although his retirement serves as the basis for the start of a new chapter in his life, Antrim revealed that he will never forget about his time spent at Eastwood. "I'll miss waking up early every morning and coming here to school," he said. "This is a great school and I'm glad to have worked here."