A physical education teacher has the often difficult task to educate children and teenagers on the many benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle.
PE teachers plan and supervise classes, activities, and games that aid physical development in young people, usually for kindergarten through High School.
This article contains tips, examples and a full resume sample, to help you boost your physical education teacher resume for your next job application.
Resume objective for physical education teachers
By including a resume objective at the top of your PE teacher resume, you give the school a chance to see who you are, what you aspire to do if hired and why you are a fantastic candidate for the job.
Many physical education teachers have similar educational backgrounds, and sometimes also work history. The resume objective is that one opportunity you get to highlight what makes you different and why the school should hire you instead of another applicant.
When we surveyed real physical education teacher resumes, almost all of them included a resume objective or a professional summary near the top.
We compared our findings with the 16 job posts we also sampled, where specific personality features like ‘responsible’, ‘outgoing’ and ‘athletic’ tended to be mentioned.
Our conclusion is that due to the nature of the job – where you work closely with children, school faculty and parents – personality plays a very big part, which you can demonstrate by including a resume objective.
According to PEteacherEDU.org, you need to know how to encourage positive social interaction and how to motivate children to want to participate in sports activities, and the trick is to show why you are the right person for such a demanding task in your resume objective.
Former college-level football player with knowledge of various sports and a passion for implementing healthy values. Leadership skills, teaching experience, a friendly and outgoing personality and the drive to motivate through positive encouragement.
Resume skills for physical education teachers
As a successful physical education teacher, you need a wide set of skills. Not only do you need to have excellent teaching abilities, but you also need to have communication skills to get through to your students, and to get along with parents and school faculty.
Hiring managers and recruiters turn to the skill section of a resume to see what you can bring to the table as a physical education teacher, but also to get a better idea of who you are.
There are certain skills that are a must for a P.E teacher, such as being communicative, have interpersonal skills, be student-focused and – of course – athletic.
You automatically become a role model when entering a school as one of the teachers, as children and teens will be looking up to you and potentially copy what you do.
Think back to when you were in school. Did you enjoy your P.E classes? If the answer is yes – what was it about your P.E teacher that made the classes enjoyable? And if the answer is no – what do you need to do differently to make physical education fun for your students?
In our research, we set out to sample 20 P.E teacher resumes and 16 job posts, to see which skills were commonly listed by applicants and requested by employees.
The Grand Canyon University lists a skill that many forget about – enthusiasm. To be a good motivator, you need enthusiasm and passion, and this needs to be evident also in your written resume. You also want to come across as knowledgeable.
Active | Athletic | Driven | Teaching Experience | Sports Knowledge | Teamwork Oriented | Performance Assessment | Confidence Building | Special Education Experience | Student-Centered Learning
Physical education teacher work experience
A physical education teacher with work experience is more likely to be hired, our research showed, as many educational institutions look for someone with relevant experience.
It does not necessarily have to be physical education teaching experience, as any teaching related work positions will look good on your resume. By demonstrating that you know what it is like to work in a school environment, you will hopefully show your future employer that you are prepared.
You can also opt for displaying work experience that showcase leadership skills, like team leader positions and manager positions, or anything related to sport.
Many jobs may have given you transferable skills , but you want to limit your included jobs to those had within the past 10 years or so.
As made clear by Study.com, having the right education tends to be the most important thing. This means you still have a chance to be hired even if you lack actual physical education teaching experience, as long as you compensate in other areas.
Sample Work Experience
Bedford Public Schools, Bedford, MA
Physical Education Teacher, 2015 – 2020
Motivated the students to see exercise as something fun and engaging, collaborated with parents to encourage physical activity at home and developed customized study plans for every student.
- Restructured the physical education budget, to better accommodate the needs of the P.E program.
- Started a YouTube channel with tips, suggestions and information, which received local attention and improved communication with young students.
- Started an after-school program with free self-defense classes for girls.
- Voted ‘Favorite Teacher’ by the students four years in a row.
Ann Arbor Public Schools, Ann Arbor, MI
Physical Education Teacher, 2013 – 2015
Taught physical education mostly in Middle School and High School, guided students through new activities and worked to combat bullying and social exclusion through games and exercise.
- Optimized the learning curriculum to better suit kids of today, through the use of social media and phone apps.
- Created fun challenges for the students, which improved teamwork and reduced bullying.
- Stepped up and provided guidance and mentoring to the school’s Lacrosse team after their coach left the school.
- Earned high ratings when evaluated by the school board every year, and received excellent feedback from parents.
Deptford Township School District, Township of Deptford, NJ
Physical Education Teacher, 2011 – 2013
Taught physical education in a multicultural environment, and worked to bring the students together and to get them to venture out of their comfort zones.
- Organized and executed a fundraiser to raise money for the swim team to go compete out of state.
- Changed the physical education program to better accommodate children and teenagers with disabilities.
- Involved the students in the lesson plannings, which increased participation with 68%.
- Invited professional athletes to come talk to the students as a reward for their hard work and effort.
Physical education teacher education
To legally work as a physical education teacher, you need to have a Bachelor’s degree, along with licensing in the state where you wish to work. Some teacher education programs may come with the license already included, but it is not always the case.
Some schools do offer this type of combined programs, and the program in question needs to be accredited by CAEP (Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation).
It is also possible to add to a Bachelor’s degree by enrolling in a teacher education program after graduating.
According to teacher.org, every state has their own licensing requirements and processes, which confirmed our research findings, but these tend to be easy to comply with provided you have the right education.
Education does not necessarily make the teacher, but it is a key section in your resume to get you your dream physical education teaching job.
Alabama State University, Montgomery, AL
Master of Education, 2015 – 2017
- Physical Education
Kent State University, Kent, OH
Bachelor in Physical Education, 2010 – 2015
- GPA: 4.0
A separate course section was not included in the resumes we sampled, but if you do have courses you want to highlight – add them here.
We would recommend only adding courses if they are specifically relevant for the position you are pursuing, or if you have completed coursework outside of what is normally included in a P.E teaching program.
Courses related to sport, leadership and more would also be considered relevant, and otherwise simply omit this section.
- Supporting Physical Development in Early Childhood
- Promoting Physical Activity Among Children Through Social Media
- Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Community and Family Participation
- Improving the Physical Health of People with Intellectual Disability
- Nutrition, Exercise, and Sports
Licensing is almost always required for a steady position as a physical education teacher, and you obtain this license by participating in a program and taking a test.
The exact requirements change depending on your home state, and this information is readily available online. Remember, even if you have worked as a P.E teacher before, you might be required to obtain a new license if you have moved states.
Other than your teaching certificate, it is always good to be certified in first-aid and CPR, as accidents can happen. However, this isn’t necessarily required, but it is a great way to impress your future employer.
- California State Teaching License
- CPR & First-Aid Certificate
Complete physical education resume sample
When writing your physical education teacher resume, everything comes down to creating a resume that catches the recruiter’s attention. The best way to achieve this is to read the job description carefully to learn what the school is looking for, and tailor your resume accordingly.
We have created a full sample resume for the job post seen below, to demonstrate how you can easily highlight your most relevant qualities, depending on the job.
Reading through this job post shows us that this school values a candidate who is responsible, organized and who can provide students with guidance and motivation. Parent-teacher conferences are also mentioned, which means a candidate with excellent people skills would be beneficial.
Physical Education Teacher
Dedicated physical education teacher with a background in college basketball, and hopes of providing guidance and motivation within the field of sports and physical activity. Passionate about teaching and healthy living, and eager to become a valuable part of the school faculty.
Athletic | Patient | Creative | Student-Focused | Teacher Experience | Multi-Sport Knowledge | Driven | College Level Basketball | People-Oriented | Outgoing | Friendly | Team Player
James Shields Middle School, Chicago, UL
Physical Education Teacher & Sports Coach, 2017 – 2020
Combined P.E teaching duties with coaching the school basket team and hosting an after-school sports program. Responsible for groups of up to 30 kids, parent/teacher conferences and coming up with creative teaching methods.
- Focused on boosting each individual basketball player’s confidence – a strategy that lead to a 84% increase in games won.
- Implemented a more open conversation with the students, to better understand how to make classes enjoyable for them.
- Organized a fundraiser to raise money for a new gym, which made it possible to go through with P.E class and training also on cold and rainy days.
- Was offered a spot on the School Board and became involved in budget decisions.
Hyde Park Academy High School, Chicago, IL
Physical Education Teacher, 2015 – 2017
Planned lessons and focused on finding education forms that would appeal to all students. Kept close contact with parents, monitored the students academic performance, mentored the cross-country team and organized fundraisers.
- Was promoted from Physical Education Aide to Lead Physical Education Teacher within the first year of employment.
- Scheduled new sports activities like Badminton, Yoga, Tae Kwon Do and more, to help students find the sport or physical activity that was right for them.
- Started a collaboration with other teachers to improve team efforts in getting students interested in physical exercise.
- Used rewards, like fun games and events, to motivate students to want to do their best, which improved participation with 47%.
Hyde Park Academy High School, Chicago, IL
Physical Education Aide, 2014 – 2015
Assisted the lead physical education teacher with lesson planning, preparation, and record keeping. Participated in sports events and chaperoned sports tournaments and other events.
- Implemented a plan with customized goals for each student, which helped improve motivation.
- Assisted with the organization of a field day for both parents and students.
- Adapted the lesson plan to students with physical disabilities, which received excellent feedback from the school board.
- Started an initiative to include 5 minutes of stress reduction at the end of each lesson.
- Professional Educator License (IL)
- CPR & First Aid Certificate
Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, AZ
Bachelor of Science, 2013 – 2017
- Teaching Cooperative New Games
- Handling Disease and Injury in the HPE Classroom
Working with children and teenagers can be challenging, and your job as a physical education teacher is not only to provide lessons, but to implement a healthy lifestyle and to motivate your students to want to continue practicing sports and physical activities.
Schools tend to look for P.E teachers who can follow the curriculum but who can also bring something extra to the table, and your resume is an excellent opportunity to sell yourself and your teaching abilities.
- Your academic experience and your work history matters, but a good physical education teacher resume also needs to demonstrate your ability to engage young students.
- Physical education teacher resumes can benefit greatly from including a resume objective, as this is the first thing a hiring manager or school board is likely to see when picking up your resume.
- Include a short list of achievements with every work experience entry, to demonstrate what you accomplished on past job positions.
Tips from Experts
“Have fun and teach on. Fun should be non-negotiable in your P.E program. If you can’t make it fun, you gotta do something else. I want you to imagine being a student in your class. Would you have fun in your own class?” – Ben Landers, Elementary School Physical Education Teacher
“If you are interested in becoming a physical education teacher, my advice to you is to really develop a love of sports and also to really want to work with children.” – Dr. Kit, Life, Family & Career Advisor
“There are several things you can do with a physical education degree. There are very important roles such as recreational leadership, athletic training, sports management and then there are several other different careers you can follow up or go into.” – Julie Brock, Physical Education Teacher and Author
You probably know why you chose to be a physical education teacher and what makes you so perfect for the job, but do all these great features come across in your resume?
Writing a good resume that reflects who you are as a person and a professional is a key step when trying to get hired, and we hope that these tips and suggestions will help you craft your perfect resume.