Teacher Feature May 2024: David Winter

Each month, we spotlight and celebrate a teacher in our community.

Dave Winter has been advising publications for over three decades, predating the birth of many of his current students. In the spring of 1993, as a floating first-year teacher at Wheeler High School in Marietta, GA, he was unexpectedly offered a classroom, which he accepted without hesitation. He was told he was the new yearbook adviser, setting the course for his career. Now, three schools and more than thirty years later, Winter is still at it. Since 2015, he has been teaching at McCallum High School in Austin Texas, advising newspaper and yearbook projects while teaching photojournalism.

Learn about Dave’s favorite StoryMaker lessons, pro tips, and where to get the best lobster roll in our Q&A below. 

How long have you been using StoryMaker or SRL resources in your classroom? Since 2020; so grateful for all that SRL has brought to my students since I started working with the program during the pandemic. 

What’s your favorite StoryMaker lesson?  Going to go old school here. My first rapid response prompt was about the pandemic and how it affected students’ learning and mental health. It made a huge difference in my students’ experience to be able to turn something negative into a positive. Those freshmen who answered that prompt are now graduating. The Biden inauguration and 9/11 anniversary prompts were also great starters for my students. 

What’s a media-making tool or resource you can’t live without? 85 mm prime lens attached to our SONY A7C cameras followed, closely by my set of three Stanley (before they were cool) coffee thermoses

Links to your students’ work: 

Mac Journalism on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Threads, YouTube and X; the Shield 

What’s a dream story you’d like to report on or a person you’d like to interview? I would like to go on a national scavenger hunt to find the best lobster roll period and the best value for the money. I promise to write up the results. My son moved to Tempe, Arizona, recently and we discovered a secret treasure–a $10 lobster roll in the desert. Are you kidding me? No I am not kidding you. I have to know if that can be beat. I sincerely doubt it.

What’s your advice for teachers and educators just getting started on StoryMaker? Ask questions fearlessly of your awesome SRL mentors, your generous peers, and even and perhaps most importantly: your students.  

What are you currently listening to? 

Faye Webster. My daughter and I are going to see Faye this fall when she plays in FAYE-tteville, Arkansas, where my daughter attends college. Faye was my student back in my ATL days and I am so looking forward to my past, present, and future worlds colliding.

Fun facts about you? 

For the better half of my 56 years, I’ve been married to my better half. I try to avoid embarrassing my two amazing children on my social media accounts, but occasionally fail.

Anything else we should know? Shout out to my students for making me look good 

You can reach out to Dave directly to learn more about how he’s adapted StoryMaker into his classroom. Email him at: david.winter@austinisd.org