Elementary School Teacher Creatively Demonstrates the Power of Words Using Toothpaste

Even with the very best of intentions, everyone has probably said something that they regretted at some point in their lives. It can be easy to forget how impactful our words can be until it is too late to take them back. But just because we have faced this problem doesn't mean that the future generations have to, and one elementary school teacher is doing her best to teach kids about the power of words while they're still young.

Natalie Ringold is a fourth grade teacher from Minnesota, who routinely uploads clips of her lessons online. These earnest and impactful lessons, as well as the way she communicates with her students, have earned her a large online following, with her Instagram having over 179,000 followers. One of these recent lesson videos, which was recorded on the last day of the 2024 school year, has since gone viral.

In the clip, Ringold teaches her students that what they say matters and affects the people around them. She starts the clip by explaining that, “If somebody can't change something about themselves in 30 seconds or less, then you shouldn't mention it to them.” After elaborating on this idea, Ringold uncaps the tube of toothpaste she has been holding and begins squeezing it onto her desk.

“If you say something that someone can't change in 30 seconds or less,” Ringold says, as she attempts to press the toothpaste back into the narrow opening of the tube, “you try to fix it, you try to apologize, you try to take the words back… but it's something that they can't change about themselves and so it's very messy. You can't totally take those words back. You can't totally fix it.”

Eventually, the teacher gives up on the impossible task, leaving a small pile of blue goo on her desk. However, she is sure to leave her students with a positive end to the lesson.

“Your words have power and your words matter,” Ringold says. “If you walk out of this room spreading kindness to the people around you, spreading love to the people around you, that is what truly makes a difference.”

For more video lessons from this inspiring teacher, you can follow Ringold on Instagram.

Natalie Ringold: Instagram | Website
h/t: [Reddit]

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Sarah Currier

Sarah Currier is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Based in central Iowa, she is currently enrolled at Iowa State University and is working toward a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication with a minor in English. She loves all things creative, and when she’s not writing, you can find her immersed in the worlds of television, film, and literature.
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