There are two theories as to why students give teachers apples:
The exact reason why students give teachers apples is actually unknown, and we cannot be certain why.
However, these two theories are agreed to be the most plausible and likely reasons.
So, why do students give teachers apples? Let’s find out…
This is evident in many religious and mythological texts, stories and artwork.
The most obvious example would that of the forbidden fruit in Genesis, where Adam and Eve eat an apple from the forbidden tree.
Another commonly referenced example would be Sir Isaac Newton, who began to explore the concept of gravity having seen an apple fall from a tree to the ground.
Other examples can be found in Greek, Norse and Celtic folk stories and mythology.
With the apple being associated with knowledge and wisdom it makes an obvious choice as a gift for students to give to teachers.
Below are some examples of artwork which features apples in this context.
The second theory which aims to answer the question, why do students give teachers apples? is based on apples being used as a form of payment for education.
There are historic records in North America and Scandinavia that apples were given to teachers as a form of payment for their education.
This would have either been due to the family’s low income and inability to pay for their child’s education with money, or as a way of topping up the teacher’s typically low salary.
Many families would have had very little money and offering basket of apples instead of money would have been more manageable and practical for these families.
Teaching was often a very low paid profession and often undertaken by single females, so a basket of apples may have been offered to a teacher as additional support.
The long summer break which is common in most western schooling systems was originally to allow students and teachers time away from school to help their families and communities with the summer harvest.
Following the summer harvest, the students would have returned to school and this would have been the point at which apples were gifted to teachers.
Apples are ready for picking between August and October which coincides with many students return to school following the summer break.
The timing of this may be another reason why apples were the preferred fruit of choice for teachers.
However, historical records from North America and Scandinavia also indicate that apples were not the only food types gifted to teachers.
There is even a case of potatoes being given to teachers.
I think we should be pleased that apples have the crown here as what teacher wants to have a potato on their desk?
There are a number of reasons why apples are the fruit of choice for teachers: