Design Yourself 46: Teaching and Transitions with Phyllis Lipovsky

Changing jobs. Moving. Getting married. Having a baby. If you’re preparing for or experiencing a transitional time in your life, this episode is for you. This week’s guest is a high school English teacher, bride-to-be, and host Sharon’s “birthday twin” sister. She’s also one of the most giving and caring people we know. Philly has been a font of ideas for show topics since Design Yourself launched nearly a year ago. One topic that she suggested for a solo show early on was resources for moving through transitions. Especially “happy” transitions – like getting married or having a baby – whose growing pains are often ignored as the focus is on the “big event” instead. Rather than approach this topic on her own, Sharon invited Philly – who is in the midst of one such transition herself – to come share her ideas for what it’s like to be living through transition and what resources and mindsets might help along the way. Hear how Philly has wended her way to becoming a teacher and listen to these sisters talk about tips for moving through transitions.

“You can do theory, theory, theory all you want, but until you are in front of the room doing it, you are not sure if you are going to enjoy it or be successful at it.” – Phyllis Lipovsky

“Focus on yourself. You can only do and change what you can do and change.” – Phyllis Lipovsky


Tips for transitions

  1. Be clear on what you want out of your transition
  2. Create a dialogue for “real talk” about your transition
  3. Focus on your inner game (e.g. What can I do to be self-sufficient/strong through this transition?)
  4. Name what’s motivating you to move through your transition
  5. Honor that your emotions will change throughout 
  6. “Perform” your transition in whatever way feels right to you
  7. Know yourself (e.g. What you want right now may not be what others want for you. It may not even be what you want yourself over time. Be clear on what you want in this moment.)
  8. Understand that things will always be changing
  9. Name what skills you have that will support you through your transition.
  10. Identify places where you have gaps and ask for help.
  11. Remember we are in transition every day
  12. Do you!


Books Philly and Sharon referenced (#literarygeeks):

Here are a few of Sharon’s favorite books on the topic of transitions and change: