New Mexico teacher motivates students through music

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A New Mexico teacher is using rap to motivate and inspire his students.

In Sean Ritchel's class, it's about more than just pass or fail.

"Do or do not, there's no try now. When they start hating on you, say, 'bye now,'" is one of his inspirational verses.

Ritchel told KOAT that he uses rap to teach students that there's no goal they can't reach.

"If there's one thing I can encourage my students to do is to be themselves, be who they are and go the whole way," he said.

Though rap may not resonate with everyone, Ritchel hopes it shows students that creativity helps make learning fun.

"Ultimately it's an encouragement: 'Ok, this is what I do.' What do you do as a student to express yourself creatively to turn those negative thoughts into positive action," he said.

Jaedyn Mahboub picked up on Ritchel's teachings.

"If you have talents, you can use them to inspire and help other people," Mahboub said.

Some students may have found it odd at first, but now join in with their own rhymes.

"It was a chance for me to really come out of my shell because I'm really shy," said Gabrielle Armijo, another of Ritchel's students.

"When he's rapping, everyone is all excited and waving their hands and clapping," said student Nancy Rodriguez.