About Us

Who are we?

Positive Learning Communities offers curriculum, instructional supports, and professional development sequences for Social Emotional Learning. Acting with Purpose™ is a flexible outcome-based curriculum for building character, community, and social skills in the general classroom. Including Everyone™ delivers tools and techniques for full integration of students with special needs, facilitating access to the same high-quality SEL curriculum for ALL students. Mindful Curriculum is an approachable guide to using the tools of mindfulness in every area of the curriculum. The Social Thought & Speech Bubble kit provides an extensive collection of diverse photographs and re-usable visuals to add captions and guide conversations about important social concepts. Positive Purpose Icons are a delightful set of easy-to-interpret graphic representations for visual cuing and positive reinforcement.

Meet the team!

Teresa Dooley-Smith:

Teresa Dooley-Smith, CCC-SLP, has worked as a Speech Language Pathologist, Clinical Supervisor, classroom and clinical consultant, and Executive Director of a clinical speech practice providing creative strategies and interventions for special needs children and their families. Teri is a sought-after presenter, trainer, and workshop leader, bringing enthusiasm, clarity, and compassion to her work for more than 30 years. Teri focuses on hands-on strategies and techniques that facilitate social understanding across a variety of communication contexts. Her out-of-the-box clinical thinking and willingness to meet children and families where they are have resulted in tremendous clinical success, and she has particular strength in working with school-based staff to support and empower change in their classrooms. Teri received a BS in Communication Disorders from Bowling Green State University and a graduate degree from the University of New Hampshire.

Brian Smith:

Brian Smith is an actor, director, and national presenter of performance-based educational programs. He has worked with theater companies that emphasize collaboration between professional and student actors, and as a classroom educator teaching Theater and Language Arts at the high school level. Brian has run workshops across the country applying rehearsal techniques and “Thinking like an Actor” to help students understand, analyze, and respond to social contexts. Over decades of marriage and a shared educational/clinical practice, Brian and Teresa developed hundreds of social skills activities and interventions that use theater techniques and community-based programming as a platform for rehearsing functional real-world skills. The depth and integrity of Brian’s career in theater brings authenticity and innovation to the inspiring work of building Positive Learning Communities. Brian received his BA from the University of Massachusetts and is proud to be a member of the Actors’ Equity Association.

Lynn Yanis:

Lynn Yanis has been writing, designing, and editing outstanding educational materials for more than 30 years. She was a leading communication administrator in urban public school systems, writing for Chancellors and Superintendents in New York City and Springfield, MA. Following a career in public education, she was a freelance writer and editor for national publishers, international philanthropies, government agencies, and non-profit educational associations. She has authored and edited instructional materials for foundations, parents, classroom teachers, and community educators. Lynn partnered with Teresa and Brian to build Positive Learning Communities, making outcomes-based social emotional learning appealing, approachable, and available to the widest possible audience. Lynn has an undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts and a graduate degree from Yale.