GRANT, Mich. — Candance Flauaus has been teaching for 38 years. She is a second grade teacher at Grant Elementary School and is now helping her students through the pandemic.
"I just decided I wanted to give my students a little bit more love from me," she smiled.
Flauaus has been delivering signs to the student's homes that read 'my teacher misses me' and 'I'm so proud of you', simply to let them know that she's thinking about them.
"I look to see where I'm going to do it as I drive by," Flauaus laughed, "I park a little bit from the place, I sneak up, sneak back and honk my horn as I'm driving away."
It was a surprise that meant so much to Kari Swanson and her eight-year-old son Kaverin, who is in Mrs. Flauaus' class.
"It felt great because I sometimes miss my teacher," Kaverin said.
"It was a huge encouragement booster," said his mother, Kari, "in the midst of all of this chaos that is going on, she takes the time out of her day to plan this and then deliver them."
As a mother of three, Kari says this time is very tough on her and education is something she worries about. However, teachers like Mrs. Flauaus are taking that burden away.
"It made me realize that teachers aren't just there because they have to be, but they genuinely care about that's where their heart is."
And while these may be extremely confusing times for young children like Kaverin, the sign meant a lot to him as well.
"Thank you for the sign outside," he said in his message to his teacher, "and thanks for letting me be in your class."
Flauaus says she's trying to spend more time than ever with her students, setting up Zoom chats and different Facebook story times.
"It's not just the kids that are struggling right now," she added, "teachers are struggling, too. The response I've gotten from my kids has done as much to my heart as it's done for them."
Flauaus says she was thinking about retiring after this school year but now, due to this pandemic, she knows she wants to return this fall for year number 39.
"I love my job, but it's not a job, it's a passion," she said.