The metaphor “an apple for the teacher“ is one quite often used today. The phrase denotes the sweetness of apples and the way in which they align with the goodness of teachers. The idea of an apple for the teacher was one that was possibly among the very first as a way of recognising the contribution of teachers to student. It was about recognising teacher quality and appreciating the work the teachers did for children in their classes.

However, the “apple“ is less appealing if preceded by the adjective “bad“. Unfortunately these days there are a minority of teachers who have achieved the notoriety of being “bad apples“ because of misconduct and actions that are contrary to the values and ethics of the teaching profession.

The propensity of the community to overlook what is good dwelling instead on what is bad, means that these teachers gain notoriety that applies not only to themselves but impacts upon the professional as a whole. Teachers come to be viewed with suspicion, with people wondering what might be going on beneath the surface.

It is awful that the reputation of teachers and the status of teaching as a worthy profession can be sullied and besmirched by a few. Sadly, that’s the way it is.

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