Mr Targett, the teacher who values every pupil
TREATING every child as an individual has led to a Warwick teacher being put forward for a national prize.
Myton School deputy headteacher Jonathan Targett has been nominated for the Ted Wragg lifetime achievement award at the Teaching Awards in October.
A PE and science teacher for 37 years, Mr Wragg has worked at Myton School for 32 years, and is known for leading outdoor pursuits trips, new teaching approaches and old-fashioned discipline.
Among endorsements prepared for judges, former colleague Jon Heywood, now a science education lecturer at Leicester University, said Mr Targett was “the embodiment of all that is good about Myton”.
He said: “Jon is an inspirational leader, commanding loyalty from his year team and a master at motivating students as well as displaying empathy and care for each and every pupil lucky enough to be in his year group.”
It could have been different. Mr Targett wanted to become a marine biologist but didn’t get the grades and trained to be a teacher at Carmarthen University.
While there, he went climbing in Snowdonia at weekends and has carried on his love of the outdoors, giving up his own holiday to take climbing trips to the French Alps as well as activities in Cornwall.
He said: “Once you’ve done some big, frightening challenges you discover a lot about yourself.”
Many former pupils name the trips among their formative experiences. One, Laura Hutchcox wrote: “Without Jon I would never be able to say I’d been white water rafting, abseiled down a cliff or swum in a lake in the middle of the mountains.”
His work has shaped lives in South Africa. On a whale watching trip, Mr Targett visited Lukhanyo Primary School in Zwelihle township, where he set up up a fundraising link that has bought the school its first minibus.
Explaining his approach, Mr Targett recalls the words of former England rugby coach Clive Woodward about ‘critical non-essentials’ - little things that don’t cost you anything but make others feel better.
He added: “I trust everybody. Where it says ‘don’t pick up hitchhikers’ I’m the sort of person that does want to pick them up. Everybody’s important.”
Finalists will be announced this month but Mr Targett said he was honoured to have got as far as he has.
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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