YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Why did students start bringing apples to their teachers?
Consider it payment.
Giving fruit has always been linked to helping people through hard times or helping others make ends meet.
In the 1700s, families in Denmark and Sweden gave teachers baskets of apples and potatoes as payment for their children’s education.
Same as in this country — in the 18th century, families living on the frontier usually paid teachers with food and housing.
Giving apples was common because apples come from the Garden of Eden’s Tree of Knowledge, right? So who is more knowledgeable than your teacher?
Farmers’ children gave struggling teachers apples during the Great Depression.
But then, giving apples came to mean something else, that you were an apple polisher — you just wanted to get on a teacher’s good side.
Bing Crosby sang about it in 1939: “An apple for the teacher will always do the trick when you don’t know your lesson in arithmetic.”
With the technology we see in today’s classrooms, many teachers may be asking for a completely different kind of apple, not a Red Delicious or Granny Smith but an iPad!
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