Have a da Vinci glow: Be Willing to be Wrong

“The moon is covered in water,” said the child. 

“Preposterous,” said the teacher. “You are just an ignorant little child, how could you think that?” 

And thus, the teacher has just killed the inquisitive nature of…

Leonardo da Vinci, one of the greatest thinkers the world has ever known.

Although he was wrong about the moon being covered in water, he first theorized that the moon was reflecting light. It is now called the “da Vinci glow.”

More of us need that “da Vinci glow”
If we create a lot of theories, we're going to be partially or completely wrong much of the time.

If you're worried about being right all the time, don't invent. Don't theorize. Don't experiment. Then, we can sit in our little room all along and do nothing with our lives. But even then, we'll find that although we were never criticized for being wrong that we were, in fact, WRONG. Because we wasted our life afraid of making a mistake we did nothing. We thought nothing. We shared nothing.

If I'm wrong some of the time, it means I'm stretching myself. I'm trying something new. We need to expect to be wrong and admit it but we cannot let FEAR keep us from making theories.

There is such a thing as living in a culture that is so unforgiving about wrong-ness that it never innovates or invents anything new. Steve Jobs is revered but he failed a lot. Leonardo da Vinci did too.

To heck with being right, I want to be wrong. At least some of the time. If I'm never wrong, I'm not thinking enough. If I'm always right, I'm lying, because no one is always right!

As for me, I'm happy to fail. And that, my friends, is my BIG little thing #5 that will improve education: Be willing to be wrong. (You don't have to like it but accept it as part of being inventive and get over yourself.)

Photo credit: Big Stock

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere