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So, Teachers Realllllly Hate Those Spinner Fidget Toys

"It’s like a friggin’ siren song. The allure of someone else’s spinner spinning is too much to bear."

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You may have spotted one of these "fidget toys" these here interwebs or IRL recently.

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Similar to stress balls (or doodling in your notebook's margin) from days of yore, the toys give you something to do with your hands when you're concentrating.

Proponents of fidget widgets — which are aimed at people of all ages — say that having something to fidget with reduces anxiety, improves memory, and helps people concentrate, and claim that the toys can be especially helpful for kids who are on the autism spectrum or have ADHD.

As a result, they've become super popular with students...and a lot of teachers are not here for it.

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"The only thing my students seem to focus on, however, is the spinner, itself, and not their work," teacher Cristina Bolusi Zawacki recently wrote on Working Mother. "It’s like a friggin’ siren song. The allure of someone else’s spinner spinning is too much to bear. What color is it? What type is it? What shape is it? What’s it made of? How many arms does it have? Are there removable ball bearings in it? What are THOSE made out of? Those are the worst part of these fidget spinners. When the ball bearings fall out in the midst of excessive, overzealous spinning and clatter all around my classroom floor mid-lesson, and they always do, it sounds like Plinko ... in hell."

Several schools have actually banned the toys outright.

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"Frankly, we've found the fidgets were having the opposite effect of what they advertise," Kate Ellison, the principal of Washington Elementary School in Evanston, IL, told the Chicago Tribune. "Kids are trading them or spinning them instead of writing."

While they may help some students, the toys become a problem when an entire classroom full of children is playing with them — it distracts the other students and the teacher.

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"Whole classrooms of kids spinning those things is just bullshit." —My mom, a kindergarten teacher. (She also told me that she has discreetly stuck Velcro strips under the desks of students who are sensory seeking, something the principal quoted above also mentions. "It's funny how they'll find it without me even telling them it's there," my mom said.)

Some schools are allowing them if the child has a note from a healthcare professional.

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