It's National Teacher Appreication Day and we want to say thank you!
Thank you for all the hard work, long hours and dedication you show daily to educating our children!
This also got us thinking about why teachers are traditionally associated with and given apples? We had a look and thought we'd share our findings with you!
It looks as though the act of giving teachers apples first came about in the days before the goverment paid for the education of its people. Rich families could afford to send their children to a private school or hire a tutor, whereas poorer families were sometimes able to work out a deal whereby they paid for their children's education with surplus product from the family farm. For example families in Denmark and Sweden in the 1700s gave teachers baskets of apples and potatoes as payment for teaching their children.
So why is it the apple that's stuck as the symbol of teacher appreciation? Why not potatoes? We found two answers to this!
1. Apples are symbolic of knowledge and in particular moral knowledge. Teachers used to be (and to a large degree still are) responsible for teaching their students lessons in morality. In Western Europe we depict the forbidden fruit that Adam and Eve eat from the 'tree of knowledge of good and evil' as an apple. It therefore seems fitting to show your appreciation to your teacher with the 'fruit of knowledge'.
2. Apples used to taste far more bitter and were used to make hard cider. In the olden days cider (and beer) were often considered safer to drink than water. There was probably some truth to this as they didn't have access to the water supply and sanitation that we do today so cider didn't carry the same risks of diseases as water. (Or maybe they just preferred the taste!) Therefore an apple was a thoughtful gift that teachers could use to make their own cider. As the saying goes... an apple a day keeps the doctor away!
So what do you reckon? Is it because teachers, like apples, are symbols of knowledge and morality or do you just need a nice drink at the end of a hard day of teaching? What do you most like to receive as a gift from students to show their appreciation?