ESL Teacher Duties & Responsibilities

Although teacher responsibilities have minor variations from school to school, most employers in Korea will require the same commitments and obligations from their foreign teaching staff.

Class Preparation Explained

Preparing for your classes in Korea is a must. All schools (private, public and international) will require their teachers to commit no less than 45 – 60 minutes of class preparation time each day. During this period you’ll be expected to organize your books, make photo copies, gather audio equipment, develop quizzes, etc. It’s ‘teacher stuff’ and there is no way to avoid this responsibility. Failing to prepare for your classes will usually result in a warning from your school manager (if you’re working at a private school) or your Korean co-teacher (if you’re working at a public school).


teacher preparing

Common Day-To-Day Duties

  • Keeping your students engaged with fun and exciting lessons
  • Introducing the curriculum outlined in your weekly or monthly syllabus
  • Marking the homework you assign
  • Marking tests and quizzes that you give to your homeroom classes
  • Assessing your student’s English abilities and completing the monthly or bi-monthly report cards
  • Providing your manager or supervising teacher with student development reports
  • Attending teacher workshops and seminars with the other western staff (usually 1-2 annually)
  • Attend weekly or bi-weekly staff meetings
  • Substituting for your co-workers when they are ill and cannot work
  • Phone teaching with your homeroom class
  • Supervising students during their lunch hour (applicable to K1 teachers only)
  • Accompanying and supervising students on field trips


It’s important to remember that good teachers will have an influential role with their on looking students so it’s imperative to be a responsible role model and keep a positive attitude while you’re at the school or in areas where your students can see you. As you can probably guess, the younger the students, the more impressionable they can be. It is your responsibility to ensure their safety and their well being should always be your first priority in the classroom.

Useful books and other literature

book1 ($19.95 USD) Ready-To-Use ESL Activities for Every Month of the School Year A wide variety of activities, games, puzzles and excercises for overseas ESL teachers to use in the classroom.
book2 ($14.95 USD)
Korea Calling A great book for anybody considering teaching in Korea. It offers some great teaching methods and ideas for in the classroom.
book3 ($8.30 USD)
ESL Activities and Mini-Books
Helping a new ESL student learn the basics. This books helps to assess the child’s needs and abilities, communicating with the student’s family, and much more. For use with Grades 1-4.

Related Topics