I wrote and read sci-fi through middle school and high school. I had a deep interest in Star Trek -- my writing at the time was similar, but still unique enough that it was my own and not a Star Trek copy. Anyway, I was the type that would always finish work early in class, so I'd pull out a book and read for the last ten to fifteen minutes of class or so.Leonidas wrote: Apeprovost (sorry, don't know your name), you said that your algebra teacher inspired you to write. How many others have had this experience with a teacher? I told my English teacher last year about NaNoWriMo and by the end of it she stopped class for fifteen minutes so I could explain what it was and what my novel was about to the class. People were congratulating me the rest of the day, even though they didn't know anything about writing beyond the papers we're assigned in class.
I remember my grade 10 English teacher looking at my book cover and saying, "Oh, you're one of *those* people." He said it loud enough that the whole class chuckled.
I remember my grade 11 English teacher, upon finding out what I enjoy, saying, "How can you read that stuff???" This happened to be in the middle of a class discussion on something or other, so the whole class heard and they erupted in laughter.
And, of course, being a Trekkie or a general sci-fi nerd in high school is not a cool thing, so even my closest friends would tease me about what I read and what I write. (I've made better friends since then.)
My grade 12 English teacher, though, was completely different. He watched Star Trek, I'm pretty sure, because I made a reference to an episode once and he totally got it, and he respected its story telling qualities. (We spoke mostly of Deep Space Nine, which is superior above all other Trek shows.) For a couple big assignments in the class, we had the option of presenting what we'd learned in any format we wanted. So, when we had to do a project on Hamlet, I tentatively approached him and asked if I could write a sci-fi retelling of Shakespeare's play. I was shocked when he agreed. When I got my assignment back, I was floored by the comments -- he enjoyed what I wrote and said it was a fun space opera to read and had offered suggestions for how to improve my work. So, not only had he accepted that this is what I like, but he encouraged me to continue in it! Later in the year, we had to do a research project and again we had the option of presenting our findings in any format we wished -- so I researched racism and wrote a sci-fi story on that. Again -- he loved it and offered very constructive feedback.
In grade 10 and 11, I had lost my interest in writing because of how my English teachers spoke of my interest in sci-fi. (I'm sure they would have approved of it if I liked the "classics" rather than what they considered to be trash.) But my grade 12 teacher totally woke up my storytelling interests. It was because of him and his support that I wrote the story that I mentioned in the above post that was later published in an anthology. As a thank you, I mailed him a copy. And because of all that, I continue to write. When I eventually get a novel published, his name will appear in the acknowledgements and I will mail him a copy of that, too.
I later discovered some very interesting information about him that probably explained why he was so approving of my genre writing interests. His wife, as it turns out, is international bestselling romance author Elizabeth Thornton. She writes the books out longhand and he types them out. As well, their son had a short career as a sci-fi/horror novelist. So... given who is in his family, it makes total sense that he wanted to encourage the same in one of his students.
Edited to add: OMG... I just checked her website... Elizabeth Thornton passed away last month...