Recently, I watched an interview with the author, Walter Isaacson, about his new book “Leonardo da Vinci“. Isaacson has written several books on people who are often considered to be remarkable. His books feature the likes of Steve Jobs, Benjamin Franklin, and Albert Einstein. I wanted to know what helped these people stand out from others and what he found when he researched Leonardo da Vinci. Were they more intelligent? Did they have special upbringings as children? How did they achieve this special status of genius? All of these people had one trait in common and it was arguably the most evident in Leonardo…curiosity.
The author shared that throughout his long life, Leonardo never lost his childlike curiosity about the world around him. He was constantly asking questions and writing them in his journal. Just as Albert Einstein would write in his journal centuries later, Leonardo wrote down in his journal, “Why is the sky blue?“. He never took anything for granted, but questioned, researched, and explored every aspect of life from science and nature. He didn’t see fields like art and engineering as two separate disciplines, but interconnected with one another and his “genius” was in the ability to blend them together. He was patient with his work and was continually seeking to improve it. The enigmatic smile of the Mona Lisa took him 14 years to complete. The other theme that came out from the author’s research on Leonardo da Vinci was that he had fun! He didn’t look at seeking out answers to his eternal questions as drudgery, but as an exciting adventure. He found joy in asking questions and even more so in his quest for knowledge.
As an educator, those are the two things that I want to inspire and encourage in students: Curiosity and a love of learning! Instead of focusing on intelligence or “talent”, we should be concerned about encouraging children to embrace their curiosity and find joy in asking questions and seeking answers. As they grow older, children often lose that spark of curiosity and the desire to know how and why. Unfortunately, we as adults often speed up that process by discouraging questions and by taking for granted the wonders of the world around us. So, what is genius? Maybe it’s simply remaining insatiably curious and never losing the desire to ask important questions like, “Why is the sky blue?”
“Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci
“The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.” – Leonardo da Vinci
- Monday, November 6: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
- Tuesday, November 7: District PD Day 8:00-11:00 & 12:30-3:30 PM
- Wednesday, November 8: Elementary Principals Meeting 12:00-4:30 PM, PTA Board Meeting in Conference Room 2:30 PM
- Thursday, November 9: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM, Barnes & Noble Book Fair 5:30-7:30 PM
- Friday, November 10: Principals Advisory Committee 9:30-11:30 AM
- Monday, November 13: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM, Principal Collaborative Time at Riley 1:30 PM
- Tuesday, November 14: Achievement Team for C.R. (Benson) 8:15 AM, Achievement Team for L.J. (Trantham) 9:05 AM
- Wednesday, November 15: Battle of the Books Planning Meeting (for anyone interested in helping) 8:20 AM
- Thursday, November 16: Collaborative Learning Time 7:50-8:50 AM, Lock Down Drill 2:00 PM