As a sixth grade English teacher, I absolutely became an expert on the fidget spinner. After much experience and hands on research, I will say upfront that I am not a fan. At first, I was open to them because they promised student focus in my classroom. Like many things, however, the agenda for fidget spinner owners became much different than advertised. Kids really want them for the following reasons:
- Hypnosis by fidget spinner. Many a student became stupefied by the blur of spinning color, the soft whirring, and the gentle breeze kissing their faces. Perhaps if I’d studied the ways of hypnotists I would have known how to manipulate my students. As it was, I couldn’t bring them back from wherever they had gone.
- Temperature control. Spin them fast enough and a fidget spinner becomes a personal fan. A room full of sixth graders this spring looked more like a room full of menopausal women experiencing hot flashes.
- An experience in capitalism and criminal activity. Students bought, sold, and traded fidget spinners. Sounds innocent enough, but middle school brains took over. For some, stealing was the easiest way to get the coolest spinners. Others formed a spinner cartel to restrict competition and keep their profits high. And, perhaps most shocking of all, the time-honored middle school rule of no tradebacks was eliminated.
- To throw. Even with the risk of losing your fidget spinner forever, the urge to throw a spinner like a Ninja star, or to see if it could fly like a helicopter, became too strong. We all found out, a multitude of times, that a spinning plastic object does hurt if it hits you, and fidget spinners do not make good propellers.
- Make a monotonous noise. If thirty spinners spin in unison, it creates a sound that reminds one of being in a beehive. For the adult ear, this leads to massive headaches and facial tics. The advanced fidget spinners figured out that for a more robust, dentist drill like sound, you can place your fidget spinner under the hand dryer in the bathroom.
I gave fidget spinners my best shot, but in the end, I, like many other teachers, banned them from the classroom. I emailed my parents to let them know of my decision, but also said that if they felt like their student needed the spinner to focus, they could contact me. I got zero replies which tells me that parents knew what their kids were up to. Even the “experts” found that fidget spinners don’t help focus, unless you’re talking about focus on the fidget spinner itself. Click here for an article on the subject. Fidget spinners had a good run, but I’m really hoping that by the time the new school year rolls around they will have lost their appeal. Well, fidget spinners, here’s to the biggest Hell’s Friday of the 2016-2017 school year!