Pre-Seed Your Day
By Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller
firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.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
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
What do you want to see? How about cooperation, helpers, or
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,
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
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
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