Dear reader, welcome aboard! My name is Roosa and I am a Finnish teacher exploring opportunities to work abroad as an educator. While studying different education systems and their ideas of learning and teaching, I provide personalised private language lessons in Finnish and Swedish, and design teacher training courses.
Long time no writing but it feels like yesterday when I got a new job as a Finnish mentor teacher at a company called Finnish Early Childhood Education Australia, FEC for short. I have been busy with reorganising my life and finding a balance between all different projects. Another thing that changed was the Covid-19 restrictions after the disastrous second wave in Melbourne. Catching up with “the life out there” has taken most of the weekends as we can finally live semi-normal life again.
My new employer FEC provides early learning and childcare based on the Finnish education model but localised in the Australian context. They have established several HEI Schools* around Australia: three in Victoria and one New South Wales. More centres will be opened in 2021. Additionally, they have another brand called ILO which also provides a combination of the Australian and Finnish early education frameworks. As HEI means “hello” and ILO means ‘joy” in Finnish, I’m excited for new opportunities these two great concepts bring along.
As a mentor teacher from Finland working in a multicultural company inspired by a Finnish idea, my job is to share my expertise in Finnish education and combine it with the local model. After finishing teacher training provided by HEI Schools Finland, I am now working on the pedagogical planning and implementation of the HEI curriculum together with our educators. We ensure the child-centred approach by promoting learning through play and designing holistic activities and projects.
It has been nearly seven years since I last worked in early education. However, it immediately brought back happy memories of life at kindergarten. Compared to primary school, early education is more holistic in a way that it is not as much divided into academics and free time. In early education, learning is everywhere and happens all the time.
Coming back to early education from primary and secondary schools and adult education has opened my eyes again to the significance of positive learning experiences, socio-emotional competence, and development of self-awareness during the early years. There are, indeed, many reasons why early childhood education should be seen as an essential base of everything that follows it. Maybe one way to show people that it is more than a place where you leave your child for care could be, for example, introducing the Nordic model where it is called päiväkoti / daghem, “day home”.
I’m still continuing my work as a private teacher which is an excellent way to develop my teaching skills while I support other educators in their work. Having the opportunity to work with students of all ages, literally from babies to adults, I’m grateful for seeing life-long learning happening so concretely through these different projects.
Before telling you about the new part-time job I started a week ago, I wanted to write about some casual relief teacher procedures (CRT) in Australia as I was finally offered a gig after months of silence. Due to Covid-19 and school closings, there haven’t been any teacher aide gigs so I was curious to at least see an Australian school from inside and meet some other educators.
This one-day exam supervising gig was something similar to the Finnish Matriculation Exams or the Swedish National Exams. General Achievement Test (GAT), as it’s called here, is a 3h-long national exam for all year 12 students. My job was to supervise students who undertake GAT and assist them in case they needed to go to the bathroom during the exam. So nothing special about the job itself but accepting the gig was a rather interesting process. Wait for it…
To accept the supervising gig I needed to have a document proving that I’m not related to, or associated with, any of the students undertaking GAT. Also, I had to prove that I wasn’t related to, or associated with, any person engaged in teaching these year 12 students or organising the exam. However, being employed as a casual relief teacher or an administrator by the particular school would have been fine. But what’s the logic of this? I assumed that even as a CRT or admin of the school you would get to know the students and staff but guess not…
Imagine if in the Finnish Matriculation Exams or the Swedish National Exams some random people were supervising the exam. Wouldn’t it feel a bit strange? Usually, the teachers who teach the year 12 students supervise the exams. After all, they are the people who know the exam protocol best. I wonder how come they trust random people (like myself) more than their own teachers to supervise the national exams.
The document I needed was called a statutory declaration form. The purpose of this document is still a mystery to me as it doesn’t seem to be a reliable proof of anything. Basically how it works is that you state something on this form, go to an authorised witness (pharmacist, lawyer, police, or doctor for example) and have it signed. You need to prove your identity with your ID card or passport.
Because of the Covid restrictions, getting this one document signed took me three days. Firstly, I had to send it to the nearest paper shop to be printed out. Since they are not allowed to be open normally, it took one day to have the document on a physical paper.
When I received the document, I had to find an authorised witness. I went to the nearest police station where they told me that they couldn’t sign declarations due to the Covid rules. They advised me to check out something called “the Justice of the Peace” (nope, not kidding) because apparently, that was the place to sign statutory declarations. I googled it and found out that the nearest “Justice of the Peace” was that very same police station.
I decided to try a pharmacy instead. The pharmacist got angry at me because I had signed the document before her. Apparently, that is something you should never do with statutory declarations. After begging for mercy (since it was already the third day I was dealing with this task), she signed and stamped my declaration, proving that I didn’t know any of the students nor staff members of the school. But wait, how did she know that?
In the job description, it said that the dress code for an exam supervisor was “neat and professional”. I asked my housemates what it meant in practise since I hadn’t been given any specific dress code as a teacher before. The teachers knowing how to dress practically and appropriately it usually taken for granted in Finland.
My housemates said no to sneakers and jeans which I would normally wear as a teacher. So I ended up choosing neat black trousers, blouse, long open-knit cardigan, canvas shoes, and a mask, of course. In my eyes, this was an appropriate outfit for a job where I had to stand and walk for several hours.
Well, I learned that what is usually considered as common sense in Finland, is not the same in Australia. We had a large team of supervisors working that day and “the professional and neat dress code” was understood as basically anything from classical pencil skirts and heeled leather boots (which by the way, made a heck of a noise when walking around the exam location) to pyjama-looking silk pants, worn-out sneakers, and belly button revealing crop tops.
I did have a fun day at the school and it was lovely to meet other educators. Just funny to notice how differently things are done in other countries. After this another interesting experience in the Australian red tape jungle, I’m happy to start with something a little more stable. From now on, I’m working as a part-time mentor teacher for early childhood educators at HEI School Australia while continuing my own business and having Finnish and Swedish lessons online. I’m excited to meet Australian educators and contribute my Finnish pedagogical expertise in a new context so HEI let’s go!
Please welcome my favourite time of the year once again: the clock changing circus. The last time we went through this in March-April was a total disaster. Therefore, I’m now prepared with double and triple checks on all of my students’ time zones to make sure that I know what’s going on. Also, I’ve got some exciting news about the new work I accepted last week.
First let us review the facts. At the end of March, Europe changed its time from winter time (standard time) to summer time (Daylight Saving Time, DST) by setting the clocks one hour forward. On October the 25th they will change it back to the standard time. As we are located in the Southern Hemisphere and the seasons are all upside-down here in Australia, we set our clocks one hour backwards earlier this year. Now, we set the clocks forward to have the standard time again. This means that during the European spring and summer, Australian Autumn and Winter, the time difference between Finland and Eastern Australia is 7 hours and the rest of the year it’s 9h. Pretty simple, eh?
What I didn’t realise, however, was the fact that countries all around the world have different dates for changing the time. Not to mention that more than half of the countries do not observe DST, including some countries’ independent states like Queensland here in Australia. And this means that between those clock-setting dates the time difference between Finland and Victoria goes first to 8 hours for a couple of weeks and then to 7 or 9 hours depending on the time of the year.
Last March-April I wasn’t aware of the different dates when the time difference to Melbourne changed so I managed to mess up my whole schedule for a couple of weeks. The weekly lessons booked from different time zones which either changed or didn’t change the time, overlapped and I had to reschedule almost everything.
This time I prepared myself both manually and digitally by listing all my students, their time zones, and the time changing policies of their countries and making sure Google Calendar gives me the right times based on the DST changes. After all this maths my brain hurts, however I am happy because once again it is a new task that I can do as a private online teacher.
Oh yes, the new job! I signed my very first employment contract with an Australian employer and I’ll start working next week. So excited! More on this coming up so stay tuned.
After two months in isolation, the coronavirus restrictions will finally be gradually eased in Australia. Compared to many European countries, like Spain for instance, we have had it pretty easy in Victoria. However, compared to Finland, where people have been allowed to go hiking, the greatest challenge for me in Australia has been the closing of the state borders and national parks. Outdoor activities, traveling as well as visiting schools for this blog, had started to become solid parts of my routine during my year off. Since EduExploring is now happening inside four walls, I would like to share the new daily routine I created for this time as a private online teacher and a sole trader.
Depending on the bookings, I teach around 10-15 hours a week. I meet most of my students once or twice a week, but there are also students who I meet occasionally. In addition to the lessons, I spend about the same amount of time, or even more, on preparation and material development even though moneywise, it’s supposed to be a part-time job. I’m still in the beginning of my new journey as a private teacher, and thus, learning about different materials and platforms simply takes more time. And to be honest, when it comes to planning lessons and creating new activities, I’m often caught up in the flow experience, not even realising how time passes. Ideally, I would have 20 hours of lesson time per week in order to be a full-time teacher again with a full-time salary but baby steps, baby steps…
Like in any other job, there are pros and cons in private online teaching and sole trading. I will now elaborate on the routine.
Sometimes the long days of staring at a screen make me miss school life with its various activities and structure. As a teacher who never used to sit behind a desk all day, it has been a challenge for me to create a healthy routine for online work at home. Working makes me feel tired and less productive if I don’t change the venue. I guess I’ve still got the drive of a classroom teacher going on – used to work at a rapid pace and react to quick changes. I’ve even noticed some of my students having the same challenge. Especially with younger students, it is clear that studying online requires more focus and discipline than going to school.
To cope with the new lifestyle, I have come up with some small tasks to do during the day so that I wouldn’t sit all the time at any device (including phone which often gets an excuse). Since most of my students request afternoon or evening lessons, I start my day by planning upcoming classes and checking the news. I may have one lesson after breakfast and the next ones in the afternoon or evening so, between them, I often go for a run or do some yoga. Luckily, at least running has been allowed during the coronavirus restrictions in Victoria. Even marketing and accounting tasks work like breaks for me. Switching between the sides of the brain helps me to refocus, for example, when I have been working on a creative task (lesson planning) and need something rather logical (accounting), I switch from right to left. Last week’s new option for a little brain break was to grab a ukulele after several years and refresh my long-forgotten music skills.
I must say, though, that to my surprise, I have very much enjoyed working part-time. At least for now in isolation, it has been a great way to combine earning money and self-developing. Developing my professional identity and myself as a person was, after all, the main purpose of taking the year off. I have enjoyed focusing on the quality of teaching (aka practising my pedagogical nerdism) and taking the time to prepare myself for a new full-time position. Additionally, I have had more time for hobbies and practical skills. Finally, I don’t have to choose which one of my favourite hobbies to focus on when I can practise them all. While grabbing the ukulele and playing J. Karjala’s Kolme cowboyta (Three Cowboys) once more, I gather a playlist of easy songs in Finnish for my students to practise in their isolation.
The first month of living in Melbourne and I already started to forget how to stay optimistic in the process of getting the Victorian teaching license. For sure, the Coronavirus has also had its impact on my mood as I started to get calls from my now pretty much closed home country and as the people around here are going mad with the unreasonable hoarding panic. For the first time, my family back in Europe would say that they are happy that I’m not there.
Despite the less restricted life in Australia (for now), I couldn’t help but question my recent decisions, realising, that this is not an ideal time to be an unemployed teacher in a new country. What if the license process takes until the end of the term and I run out of money? When I finally get my license, what if they close the schools in Australia as they are now doing in Finland? However, I refuse to write a letter of complaint. Here’s how I try to keep myself motivated and out of this widespread end-of-the-world mood even as unemployed in a new country.
Concern 1: What if I still need to wait for months to get the Victorian teaching license?
Waiting for an administrative process to be done is probably the worst thing I know, especially, when it keeps me from getting a job that I was trained for.
Solution: Keep busy.
The situation has given me time to re-think what I really want from my career. It made me research today’s educational field and find new interesting opportunities. I was inspired to study and expand my qualifications.
Luckily, I also found myself a part-time job as a homeschool teacher to a Finnish-Australian family. Getting back to teaching year 1 Finnish classes, I work towards maintaining and improving the bilingual kids’ Finnish skills. Thanks to Kulkurikoulu, I will simultaneously improve my own skills in teaching year 1 Finnish. What a perfect deal!
Concern 2: What if I run out of money?
Obviously, both, exploring a new country and sitting at home, cost money. Paying for waiting definitely doesn’t make it any easier to be unemployed.
Solution: Get creative.
Forced to expand career options, I have been working on my online Finnish lessons and considering to turn it into something bigger than just a hobby. As the current global situation is getting strictly limited as well as becoming quite unpredictable, the online teaching providers have (unfortunately or fortunately) found the school closings as a great opportunity for business. Might as well get on board with my online Finnish lessons! I warmly welcome all tips and recommendations regarding online teaching and starting your own website!
Concern 3: What if there aren’t any jobs when I get the teaching license?
Ironically, when I was writing this, I heard that the state of Victoria is going to close some of the schools this week so this question remains unsolved. My criminal history checks are still in process, either stuck at the authorities in Finland and Sweden or stuck somewhere on the way here. This means that the process will be delayed anyways. Not much I can do to hurry the international post in this situation.
Solution: Make the plan B to become a plan A.
I guess the only thing I can do now is to focus on the plan b’s, such as online teaching and homeschooling. Nothing is certain yet, except that we are definitely living interesting times. Stay tuned as this might be an opportunity to start something exciting!
Back to writing in English as it’s time to start a new chapter in EduExploring. I returned to Melbourne after a short trip to Vietnam. Some might also call that as “doing a visa run” as I came back with the working holiday visa (WHV) in my pocket. I got to change the backpacking mode to job-seeking mode and once again, migrate to a new country. This time to Australia, making a long-term dream to come true. Let’s restart the “mamu” (immigrant in Finnish) and dive into a new education system, shall we?
After all, applying for the 12 months’ WHV and settling in Australia wasn’t a difficult decision to make. I had already thought about working here several times before but always ended up moving to Sweden instead. My WHV was granted in less than an hour once I sent the application from Vietnam. Next step was to figure out, what i could do as a qualified teacher in Australia.
Before returning to Melbourne, I had contacted an agency who connects teachers and schools in order to arrange casual relief teaching and short-term substitutions. With their guidance, I learned that if I wanted to work as a teacher in Australia, the way to get there wouldn’t be the easiest. Firstly, I need to take care of all the basic immigration documents such as the tax file number (TFN) and medicare. Secondly, I need to registrate with the Victorian institute of teaching (VIT) in order to be qualify for any teacher positions.
Starting with easy ones, I managed to get both TFN and medicare during the first week. Also, the working with children check (WWCC), which is needed for the teacher registration, was pretty easy to apply. The only thing you have to do, is to pay the bill and go to a post office to get your picture taken for the WWCC card. The WWCC authorities will scan through your criminal history and provide the necessary authorisation. After getting the TFN, I was finally able to apply for an Australian bank account. See, how smoothly the way takes me step by step through the Australian red tape jungle? No, still not done here. After filling in the application for the bank account, I need to go back to the post office to show my face again and prove that I’m a real person.
And what about the teaching registration then? What I can tell you so far, is that we are going to get even deeper to the jungle. As a qualified primary school teacher with a Master’s degree in Education from Finland you would proudly think that it’s easy to get a teaching job wherever. Nope, doesn’t guarantee that! After filling in, once again, another application, I received an email with a long list of required documents that should first, be translated and then, certified by the Victorian authorities. Additionally, I was asked to complete a language test with good marks to show that I am able to teach in English. And finally, they needed to receive my criminal history from both Finland and Sweden. But wait, didn’t WWCC already do that for me? Yes, but that’s not enough. Why not to do the same thing twice and make people pay extra for that…
When I was looking for the VIT documents through my files, I started counting the total bill of the migration process for a non-native English speaking teacher. Luckily, when I went to the VIT office in Melbourne to ask about translation and certification, they accepted my Master’s and Bachelor’s transcripts and identification documents straight away. Therefore, neither translating nor certifying is needed so far which cut down the bill a little bit. This is how it looks at the moment:
Working Holiday Visa 485 AUD
Medicare (we shall see)
Tax File Number 0 AUD (at least paying taxes is something you can do for free…)
Working With Children Check 126.50 AUD
Language test 395 AUD (I chose a test called ISLPR “International Second Language Proficiency Rating)
Nationally coordinated Criminal History (NCCH) form Finland 12€
Nationally coordinated Criminal History from Sweden 225kr
International Driving Licence 42€
So yeah, you might consider moving to Australia to be more like an expense rather than a way to become rich.
While I’m still waiting for the criminal history checks from both Finland and Sweden to reach Victorian authorities, I’m looking for an education-related job where you don’t need the VIT registration, like for instance, teaching assistant or school administration officer jobs. Unfortunately, almost every open position I’ve found so far seems to require a specified degree (well, just like in Finland…). Nevertheless, the teaching agency offered me a job that didn’t require the VIT registration. The job title was called “School Crossing Supervisor”, aka meaning someone who walks school kids across a street before and after school. Mmm… Yeah… That’s exactly what I thought I could do with my Master’s degree in Education in Australia. Cheers mate!
Above all, when moving to another country, prepare yourself to explain who you are and what you are qualified for. The fact that you’ve got a degree in higher education doesn’t mean that it’ll automatically be recognized and accredited in the new country. I do understand, however, that it’s important to make sure that the teachers trained overseas can do the same as their local colleagues. But then again, all the teachers in Finland are required to have a Master’s degree in Education (M.Ed.) whereas in Australia, most of the teachers only have a Bachelor’s degree. To become a teacher in Australia, you can either do a four years’ B.Ed. or a three years B.Ed. and one year M.Ed. That is to say, Finnish teachers are generally over-qualified here. Fingers crossed that it’ll help me to get a job soon!
Kävellessämme Sydneyn arvoalueen rantaa pitkin suomalaisen ystäväni kanssa meidät yllätti vastaan kävelevän naisen taputus olalle ja innokas huudahdus: “Jee! Hyvä Suomi!” Se olisi sitten taas Suomi mainittu, siis torille!
Uuden vuosikymmenen alku oli melkoisen jännittävä ja ristiriitaisia tunteita herättävä aika saapua Australiaan. Olin suunnitellut tätä matkaa jo useita vuosia, ja kun vihdoin pääsin perille, täällä metsäpalojen liekit nielivät kauan haaveilemiani kansallispuistoja toinen toisensa perään. Niin paljon kuin olen aina pitänytkin täkäläisestä laid back -asenteesta ja leppoisasta vitsailusta, alkoi ne paikoin vavahdella silmissäni hällä väliä- ja ihan sama -asenteiden puolelle. Huomasin suomalaisten arvojeni paljastuvan etenkin kyvyttömyydessäni vitsailla metsien kohtalosta.
Haaveenani oli matkustaa mahdollisimman kauas Suomesta; nähdä, mikä lopulta on erilaista, ja kokea, miten suomalaisuus elää ja millaisena se ilmenee toisella puolen maailmaa. Kävin myös Uudessa-Seelannissa, mutta koska siellä ei ainakaan vielä näytä olleen tarvetta Suomi-koulun perustamiselle, keskityn nyt kertomaan Melbournen ja Sydneyn kouluista, joissa vierailin helmikuun alussa. Suomi-kouluja (SK) on perustettu lisäksi Perthiin länsirannikolle, Brisbanen alueelle itärannikolle sekä pääkaupunkiin Canberraan. Australian Suomi-koulut järjestävät opettajilleen keväisin yhteiset koulutuspäivät, joissa opitaan uutta kielen ja kulttuurin opettamisesta, verkostoidutaan sekä jaetaan ideoita ja materiaaleja.
Melbournen Suomi-koululla on kaksi yksikköä: yksi Meltonessa ja toinen Altonassa. Käytännössä niillä on yhteinen opetussuunnitelma, yhteisiä retkiä sekä mahdollisuus jakaa opettajiaan. Samalla periaatteella toimivat myös Sydneyn Suomi-koulun kolme yksikköä Randwickissa, Manly Valessa sekä Concord Westissä. Kaikki koulut kokoavat oppilaansa kerran viikossa 1-2 tunnin ajaksi. Ikäryhmiä on suurimmassa osassa kouluja kolme (alle kouluikäiset, esikoulusta 2./3. luokkaan asti sekä “teinit”), ja oppilasmäärä ryhmää kohden vaihtelee 5-10 välillä.
Australian Suomi-koulujen omat opsit pohjautvat Suomi-kouluille vuonna 2015 julkaistuun yhteiseen opetussuunnitelmasuositukseen, jossa on määritelty toiminnalle yleinen kohteesta riippumaton tavoite: edistää ja kehittää oppilaiden suomen kielen taitoa sekä suomalaisen kulttuurin tuntemusta. Suomi-kouluja ympäri maailmaa kehoitetaan kuitenkin muokkaamaan opetussuunnitelmansa omien paikallisten tarpeidensa ja prioriteettiensa mukaan. Yhdistävänä tekijänä voidaan kuitenkin pitää laajaa suomalaista arvopohjaa, joka nostaa esiin etenkin monimuotoisen idenditeetin tukemisen, tasa-arvon ja yhteisöllisyyden.
Verrattuna esimerkiksi Budapestiin ja Dubaihin sekä Melbournen että Sydneyn Suomi-kouluissa korostui mielestäni kulttuurikasvatus. Tapaamisissa puhuttiin suomalaisen ja australialaisen kulttuurin eroista: millainen oli joulu Suomessa, entä millainen Australiassa, mikä ero on suomalaisella ystävänpäivällä ja Valentine’s daylla. Toisaalta pohdittiin myös kahta kulttuuria yhdistäviä tekijöitä ja hyödynnettiin joustavaa kaksikielisyyttä sujuvan viestinnän edistämiseksi. Toki myös kieltä treenattiin esimerkiksi erilaisten kirjoitustehtävien ja toiminnallisten harjoitusten avulla sekä etsittiin suomenkielisiä vastineita spontaanisti englanniksi tulleille ilmauksille. Suomalaista kulttuuria ja kieltä lähestyttiin tutkivalla otteella käyden sen kanssa vuoropuhelua australialaisesta näkökulmasta.
Kulttuuritietouden ja kotimaisten arvojen korostuminen jopa kielen oppimista tärkeämmäksi on mielestäni erittäin luonnollista ja perusteltua näin kaukana Suomesta. Melbournen ja Sydneyn Suomi-koulut voisivat kilpailla “Suomi-koulu kauimpana Suomesta” -tittelistä, riippuen nimittäin siitä, mistä kohtaa Suomen karttaa välimatkaa katsoo. Pohdin suomalaisten perheiden taustoja ja syitä olla Australiassa. Ehkä kulttuuri koetaan ensisijaiseksi myös siksi, että useammat perheet täällä ovat tulleet jäädäkseen, toisin kuin esimerkiksi Emiraateissa, joissa monen vanhemmat olivat jonkinlaisella väliaikaisella työkeikalla. Kielen oppimisen tärkeys korostuu etenkin niissä tapauksissa, joissa lähitulevaisuuden tavoitteena on palata Suomeen ja jatkaa koulunkäyntiä suomeksi. Vaikka kaksi länsimaata jakavatkin paljon samankaltaisia kulttuurisia piirteitä ja arvoja, Suomen maantieteellinen sijanti, koko ja asema saattavat kuitenkin tarjota suomalaisille lapsille Australiassa erilaisen näkökulman tarkastella esimerkiksi pienempien kansanryhmien asemaa, monikulttuurisuutta sekä luontoon liittyviä arvoja.
Sydneyn Randwickin ohjelma lukukauden ensimmäisessä tapaamisessa oli rakennettu “minä”-teeman ympärille. Ensin tutustuttiin erilaisten leikkien avulla, kerrottiin kuulumisia kesälomilta ja ulkoiltiin. Sitten harjoiteltiin kirjoittamista kertoen itsestään ja lempiasioista. Lopuksi kerrattiin ruumiinosia Twisterin avulla, harjoiteltiin kuvailua Muumi-muistipelissä sekä laulettiin tulevan ystävänpäivän kunniaksi “Minun ystäväni on kuin villasukka”.
Jäin vielä pohtimaan paria seikkaa Suomi-koulujen opetussuunnitelmasuosituksen tavoitteissa ja niihin pohjautuvissa erilaisissa tavoissa järjestää opetus eri puolilla maailmaa. Suurilta kuulostavista tavoitteista huolimatta, opettajat kuvailivat Australian Suomi-koulutoimintaa yhtenä harrastuksena muiden joukossa. Terminä Suomi-koulu saattaa siis hämätä, sillä kyseessä on enemmänkin kerho, johon lapset kokoontuvat. Viikonloppuisin järjestettävissä Suomi-kouluissa, esimerkiksi Budapestissa, olen yleisesti huomannut vanhempien olevan aktiivisemmin mukana toiminnassa. Vastaavia ruotsalaisia kieli- ja kulttuurikerhoja kutsutaan englanniksi Community Schooleiksi, mikä myös osaltaan korostaisi Suomi-koulujenkin tavoitetta edistää kulttuurin tuntemusta ja suomalaisten verkostoitumista.
Toinen seikka liittyen tavoitteiden toteuttamisen korvaamiseen ammattilaisille. Suomi-koulujen käytännöt maksaa opettajilleen korvaus opetustyöstä vaihtelee yllättävän paljon, vaikka käytännössä työnkuva on sama ja määritelty Suomen valtion toimesta. Osa toimii pelkästään vapaaehtoisvoimin, jolloin lukukausimaksu saatetaan käyttää materiaaleihin ja retkiin. Osassa kouluista maksetaan opettajille kulukorvaus, minkä suuruus taas riippuu paikallisesta hintatasosta. Kolmas vaihtoehto, joka on käytössä ainakin Sydneyn Suomi-kouluissa, on maksaa muuta paikallista iltapäiväkerhotoimintaa mukaileva palkka. Tämä on mahdollista Sydneyn kaupungin Suomi-kouluille myöntämän rahallisen tuen ansiosta. Toki hinta- ja palkkatasot vaihtelevat suuresti eri kohteiden välillä, mutta ehkä toiminnan tarkoituksen määrittelemiseksi ja vakauttamiseksi jonkinlainen yleinen käytänö olisi paikallaan myös työpanoksesta annettavan korvauksen suhteen. Monella SK-opettajalla saattaa nimittäin olla jopa opettajanopinnot taustalla, mikä antaa pätevyyden työhön ja valmiuden tarjota laadukasta SK-opsin arvojen mukaista opetusta.
Oli tapa järjestää Suomi-koulutoimintaa ja maksaa siitä korvaus minkälainen tahansa, on ollut ihana huomata, miten positiivinen ja innostunut asenne SK-oppilailla on eri puolilla maailmaa suomen kieltä ja kulttuuria kohtaan. Voisi siis sanoa, että koko SK-opsin tärkein tavoite toteutuu mallikkaasti!