Anyone can teach, but only a few teachers can teach in a way that relates back to a child's life. That kind of teacher works for change in her classroom and community. Michie's article describes how one young black teacher, Liz Kirby, works for change in her classroom, because she strives to be that special teacher.
Kirby introduced the book Malcolm X to her students. She didn't try and lie to them that this was easy reading or cover up the fact that this book would require time, she was honest. Her honesty had struck the students to "get with the program". (p.41) Having connected with her students on the basic level that they had to read to pass the class, she then left the rest of the work to the book. She used the book to connect to their personal lives and their community. It wasn't just reading the book that Kirby wanted her students to accomplish, it was the deeper meaning.
"I really hope that in my teaching I can encourage kids to look at their lives and their roles differently. I want kids to feel- empowered is not the best word, but- connected to their lives and connected to their communities. I don't want them to feel like things kind of happen around them and there's nothing they can do about it. I want them to understand that each decision they make, like it or not, is a decision and it has an impact. And I want them to take responsibility for it." (pp.40-41)
I think connecting the students to their own personal lives and community is an important thing. A teacher should incorporate their lessons to help students figure out who they are, and what they need to become as much as possible. Without learning about themselves or their community, a student can't connect everything together and open up opportunities to their future.
"I want them to be able to remember something we read or talked about. It will make them think twice about wearing violet contacts or making a black joke." (p.42)