SPRING, Texas – Teacher Joy Bazzle is using her personal struggles and triumphs to connect with students at Richey Academy in the Spring Independent School District.

The academy is an alternative school for students who’ve had trouble at their home campus. Bazzle’s teaching style and classroom are unique.

“G to the E to the N R E. Genre is a literally category,” rapped the 47-year old. “The way or organize several different stories.”

The English Literature teacher often finds ways to reach children in ways they can relate to. Bazzle’s goal, “not be persuaded to do the negative things that brought you here, but to still walk in that right light. And that’s the true test. That’s all we can hope for.”

Hope, has kept her moving for decades.

“But I looked at everyone in my family as who I did not want to become. And I had to look out for myself. No one else looked out for me,” she explained as she let out tears while sitting at a student’s desk.

Her family was wiped away by drug addiction and AIDS. Alone and without support, she poured herself into books, describing it as a way to escape her reality.

Two years ago she left her career in graphic design so she could earn her teaching certificate. She’s spent about $2,000 of her own money on creating a unique classroom environment complete with stationary bikes turned into desks.

Last year, her initial year in the classroom, Joy Bazzle earned Teacher of the Year.

Her students, who are only with her for about 30-45 days describe the teacher as caring and genuine.

Student Avianna Cleveland said, “some kids just need help. They just want the attention and love that they need. They want positivity instead of negativity.”

And seventh-grader Felicity Bradley described Bazzle was a woman who “just goes through so much and she still puts a smile on her face.”