When you were a kid, did you read the stories of Curious George? This timeless little monkey embodies the curiosity children possess. You probably know George, but do you know the story of his creators – H.A. and Margaret Rey? Hans Agusto Rey and Margaret Waldstein worked together on a variety of projects in the 1930’s, fell in love, married and moved to Paris. Both were German born Jews who found themselves faced with the fact that the Nazis were storming through Europe. The Reys escaped on two bikes (handmade by Hans) with a few necessities and five manuscripts – one was Curious George. With incredible determination, they made their way to New York and became accomplished children’s book authors.
Their passion for life and for each other fueled their journey and their passion for curiosity fueled the character of Curious George. Seventy-five years later, George lives on and the Curious George Foundation funds programs for children “that share Curious George’s irresistible qualities—ingenuity, opportunity, determination, and curiosity in learning and exploring.”
Being passionately curious is incredible fuel for lifelong learning. The Harvard Business Review reports that curiosity creates a “hungry mind” and higher levels of “intellectual investment and knowledge acquisition.” Curiosity is the tool that finds “simple solutions for complex problems.” Catherine Peterson writes, “curiosity is a muscle that must be regularly flexed” and shares 5 tips for staying curious from people who do it for a living.
1. Look outside their industry for new ideas and ways to do things that have not been done before.
2. Dive deep into their passions and constantly strive to learn more.
3. Sharpen their critical thinking skills every day and stretch their minds in varieties of ways.
4. Change their angle and look at the world from different perspectives.
5. Are comfortable being uncomfortable.
As we begin to prepare for a new school year, let’s remember to regularly flex our curiosity muscles. Curiosity gets us excited about learning and is the fuel for discovery. Classrooms that inspire curious minds are thriving and exciting places to be. Albert Einstein said, “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” Ahh …to be like Albert!