I have heard it said that fidget spinners help kids concentrate on a lesson during class. Instead of fidgeting in their seats, they play with the spinners. Bullshit. Nothing is further from the truth. Not only do fidget spinners distract the user, they also distract everyone near the user, especially when the user is performing tricks. The ones with flashing lights are enough to induce a seizure, and some of the metal spinners have blades sharp enough to rival Freddy’s finger-knives in A Nightmare on Elm Street. Kids drop the spinners on the floor constantly, where they make a lovely clang on my concrete lab floor.
What’s worse, certain adults have promoted these spinners as “classroom accommodations” for students with “special needs.” Well, guess what? Pretty soon the “regular” kids claim to have special needs too, so that they can play with the damn things during class without consequence. In fact, if a teacher tries to confiscate one, the kid is ready to get a lawyer.
Fortunately, as with all things kid-oriented, the interest in stuff like this tends to be a flash in the pan, not lasting more than a few months. Same thing with the flipping of cups and bottles, or so I devoutly hope.
Seriously, how exciting can flipping a container over and over be? It’s not just the mouth-breathers that dig it, either. Many students think this is a skill worth mastering and that the classroom is an awesome place to practice. Again, I call bullshit. Flipping containers is like a classroom version of beer pong, only there’s no alcohol allowed to dull the mental pain of watching kids do this. My guess is that even chimpanzees and the great apes would get bored of flipping containers before kids do. And these are animals that throw shit at each other. Literally! God forbid students start throwing shit during class for entertainment value…
Fidget spinners and container-flipping should not be allowed in class or at school, period. Anyone who argues that they benefit the classroom environment or the student in any way is a moron. Classroom accommodations, my ass. I can’t wait until these stupid preoccupations go the way of the tech-deck mini-skateboards that kids used to play with several years ago. Which begs the question… what’s next?