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Pre-Seed Your Day

By Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller
ipp57@aol.com and thomas@thomashaller.com

So you had a bad day. It didn't exactly turn out the way you wanted. Your students had trouble settling down, they didn't listen, and they struggled with the assignment. You heard numerous side conversations, gossip, and frequent complaints. You noticed students doodling, staring out the window, and sending text messages. You felt irritation, frustration, and annoyance. Not exactly a day you want repeated tomorrow.

So what do you do about it? Give one of your eloquent lectures, call a few parents, or pass out warning slips? Probably not. Perhaps a new technique is called for. Consider pre-seeding your day.

Pre-seeding is a technique that plants the seeds in the morning that you expect to see bloom throughout the day. Tomorrow, before students arrive, set your intention for what you want to see.

What do you want to see? How about cooperation, helpers, or achievement?

What do you want to notice? Perhaps kindness, wellness, or growth is your desire.

What do you expect to perceive? It might be curiosity, follow-through, or love.

Whatever you choose, write it on a file card and carry it around with you throughout the day. You don’t even have to take it out of your pocket. Just knowing it is there will allow you to see more instances of what you have written on the card.

When you pre-seed the day, you are turning on your reticular activating system, the part of your brain that decides what information to let in and what to shut out. It tells you what to notice and what not to notice. We are bombarded with stimuli all day long, including light, sounds, words, temperature, feelings, touch, smells, etc. If we noticed every stimulus that comes at us, our system would not be able to handle it. We would wilt and collapse from overstimulation. Hence, the need for the reticular activating system. It decides what data to let in and what data to ignore so we don't go into overload.

This phenomenon is similar to what probably happened the last time you bought a new car. You never had a Trailblazer before so your reticular activating system helped you eliminate unneeded information by not noticing them. Trailblazers went whizzing right by on the highway without you noticing or paying any attention. Once you bought a Trailblazer you began seeing them all over the place. What’s that about? Did many more Trailblazers suddenly take to the road? No, your reticular activating system just decided to let that information in because it knew you were interested in Trailblazers.

Put your reticular activating system to use in your classroom. Signal it to notice effort, kindness, or curiosity. Do that by pre-seeding your day with a positive intention to see what you want to see. No matter where you are in the school, no matter what group of students you are working with, no matter what function you are engaged in as a professional educator, you will see more of what you want to see.

Each morning, get clear about your intentions. This pre-seeding of the day will help you see more of the behavior you desire during the day. When you see more of the behavior you want, you will tend to see students as being more that way. When you see them as more that way, you will come to believe that they are more that way. When you believe they are more that way, you will tend to see more of the times when they are indeed that way.

Create a better day for yourself tomorrow with pre-seeding. You deserve it, and so do your students.



Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman are the authors of Teaching the Attraction Principle™ to Children. They are two of the world's foremost authorities on raising responsible, caring, confident children. They publish a free monthly e-zine for parents. To sign up for it or obtain more information on how to bring their expertise to your staff or parent group, visit their websites today: www.chickmoorman.com and www.thomashaller.com.