For more than 13 years, Ida Fryhover of Norman has been a CareerTech educator, serving as a career counselor at several Technology Centers, working at the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, and teaching marketing, management and entrepreneurship to high school students. In addition to teaching today’s youth, Ida is passionate about her local PTA and current serves on the Norman PTA Council. Here’s more about Ida, a 38-year-old mom of son Lorenzo, age 8, and daughter Rio, age two.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
When I was in college I was a dancer with a flamenco and folklorico group based out of Norman, Los Ninos de Espana y Mexico.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about using creativity with things I do at work and home. I really try to approach teaching in a creative manner in hopes of inspiring my students to look at things differently. At home, I encourage my kids to explore their imagination through reading, writing, drawing, or anything else we can get our hands on.
How has motherhood changed you?
Motherhood has brought a sensitivity to me that I never thought I would have. I feel that I am more in tune with the needs of students because I see how different my two children behave and learn. The same approach doesn’t work all the time, and it is the same way in the classroom.
How do you banish stress?
I focus on feeding my mind, body, and soul. I focus on eating healthier, practice yoga and sometimes other forms of exercise such as Zumba, piyo, or whatever I can squeeze into my week. I also try to read inspirational and motivational books to lift my spirits every now and then. Once a month I get to scrapbook, which feeds my creative side and gives me time with some of my most creative friends.
What inspires you?
I find inspiration everywhere, especially when people overcome challenges to make their life better or the life of someone else.
Along with your job as a mom, what do you do?
I am now back in the classroom as a teacher at Metro Career Academy in Oklahoma City. All of my professional positions have been working with students to help prepare them to be college and career ready.
What do you like most about your job?
My job allows me the opportunity to guide students to see the best in themselves. Teaching is a great responsibility. I appreciate the challenges every day brings and hope that I leave each day knowing that I have done something to encourage my students to believe in their dreams.
What is on your wish list?
Number one on my wish list is that our legislators place education as a priority! It is frustrating to know that decisions are made that negatively impact students in Oklahoma.
What are you most proud of?
Other than my family, I am proud to have been able to be a positive influence in the lives of my students, my workplace, and my community. I value the idea of "giving back" and feel that I act on any opportunity, big or small.
What motivates you?
Challenges motivate me. I know there is always a way to make things happen.
How do you find balance in your life?
This is really my husband’s job. He keeps me in check. If it were left to me, I would be working on some project all the time. He helps me to remember that family, friends, and fun are required.
Advice for other moms?
It is hard to take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself. Mothers tend to give, give, give. You have to do something for yourself and not feel guilty about it.
Where are you from originally? What brought you to Oklahoma?
I was born in El Paso, Texas. We moved around a lot because my dad was in the military. He ended up retiring at Tinker while I was in college at UCO. During my college career, I met the most amazing guy, married him, and haven’t left since. I never thought I would have ever called Oklahoma my home!
What’s the biggest challenge in your life?
My biggest challenge in my life is helping my son maintain good self-esteem. He was born with a hand deformity and kids ask him about it all the time. There are times where I wish I could make his pain go away. I know it will become more difficult to deal with as he grows up and I don’t ever want him to feel bad about himself because he is an amazing kid with or without a hand.
How do you help others?
I like to volunteer a lot, sometimes my husband says too much. Right now I am spending most on my efforts as a board member for the Norman Youth Soccer Association and PTA. I want to be involved in organizations that help kids in my community. Getting involved with PTA has been one of the best experiences because I have met so many wonderful parents seeking the same things for their kids as I am with mine. Last year I served as PTA president at my son’s school and look forward to serving on the Norman PTA council. I believe we need strong communities working together with our schools. I work as much as I can to bring resources and people together to make positive things happen. It is amazing the difference it makes for kids.
What is your parenting style?
My husband and I don’t always agree on parenting issues. He is the fun one and I tend to be the one who says no all the time, but we do agree on explaining our expectations to the kids. We offer choices and include the kids on many decisions we make. We both value teaching our kids to respect everyone in the family and outside the family.
Favorite quote or advice about motherhood?
My advice is to quit comparing yourself or your family to others. You lose sight of the all the things that make your family great. Do what is right for you.
Quick Facts About Ida:
1. What are 5 words that describe you? Creative, determined, passionate, volunteer, organized.
2. What’s your favorite date night venue? Sooner football games.
3. What’s on your reading list? The Girl Who Played With Fire
4. What’s always in your handbag? My nook, phone, and lipgloss
5. What’s your guilty pleasure? I love chocolate desserts.
Brooke Barnett is the Assistant Editor of MetroFamily Magazine.