TALLADEGA -- Members of the Talladega College Education Department hosted to a professional learning development event Friday featuring children’s author Lester Laminack at the college’s Savery Library.

Those attending included Talladega College professors, faculty, students and the faculty of partnering schools from Talladega County, the cities of Talladega and Sylacauga.

According to Talladega College Education Department Chair Rebecca Robinson, the main purpose of the event was to “improve our practice. We are all teachers and learners who want to improve.”

Robinson noted that the seminar with Laminack will help prepare educators for the upcoming edTPA (Teacher Performance Assessment) portfolio assessment in 2018.

“We are in the pilot phase here at Talladega College,” she said.

Robinson added that the edTPA is a similar to the National Board of Certified Teachers process that teachers go through to receive certification.

“Our candidates will video themselves and then prepare written commentary based on the videos,” she said. “They must be able to write commentary about their lessons using academic language.”

Throughout the professional development Friday, educators were instructed by Laminack, who taught a lesson to Graham Elementary first-graders earlier in the day.

Robinson noted that “as a result of EdTPA, all colleges of education are working on a much closer relationship with schools in our community.”

As a department, Robinson said, Talladega College Dean of Education and Social Sciences Rebecca McKay and Talladega College Assistant Professor Karen Pitty have been studying over the last two years about ways to improve their practice to help their students be better teachers and to succeed on this assessment.

Laminack is a native of Flint, Michigan, and is an active member of the National Council of Teachers of English. He is also an author of six children’s books.

He serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Our Children’s Place.

To learn more, go to www.lesterlaminack.com.