Teachers struggling with burnout view AI as tool to ease burdens: survey

Teachers are optimistic about ability of AI tools to help address burnout, per new Canva survey

Teachers who are feeling burned out from their daily tasks view artificial intelligence (AI) tools as a way to work more efficiently and address pain points, according to a new survey.

The survey released by Canva to mark Teacher Appreciation Week, which runs May 6-10, found that 35% of K-12 teachers in the U.S. experience feelings of burnout daily or most days, while 83% experience it at least some days. Burnout is also causing teachers to consider career changes, with 57% saying they've considered quitting or switching schools and 64% having considered leaving the teaching profession.

"The stakes are high as our data found that burnout leads to absenteeism, reduced patience in the classroom, loss of job interest, diminished instructional quality and even thoughts of abandoning the profession," Carly Daff, head of teams and education at Canva, told FOX Business. Over half, 55%, of teachers reported missing school days while 53% felt overwhelmed and 45% said burnout has made them less patient with students.

AI tools have emerged as a new way for teachers to handle daily tasks more efficiently and ease burnout. The survey found that 42% of teachers have already used AI in the classroom, a push led by the 49% of millennial and Gen Z educators who've used it.


Teachers desk in classroom
Teachers are optimistic about the ability of AI tools to help address burnout, a new survey from Canva finds. (Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Portland Press Herald / File / Getty Images)
Newer teachers, defined by the survey as having five or fewer years of experience, were the most likely to use AI with 59% having done so, which is a sharp contrast with the 28% of teachers who have been in classrooms for more than 20 years and have used AI.

"At a high level, educators are using AI to refine learning materials, specifically in customizing lesson plans and classroom presentations," Daff said. "Some common-use cases are using AI to translate text, summarizing text, create data visualizations, and generate or edit art, photos and videos to bring lessons to life visually."\
Teacher and students in classroom
More experienced teachers who've been in classrooms 20 years or more were less likely to have tried AI tools. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times / File / Getty Images)\

An overwhelming 92% majority of teachers who are using AI said it's helpful in addressing pain points for teachers, while 60% said AI could improve work efficiency and 58% said AI helps alleviate feelings of burnout.

Among teachers who haven't used AI in the classroom, there remains optimism about its potential as a tool. A 56% majority of such teachers said they think it can help reduce burnout, a belief that was more pronounced among Gen Z and millennial teachers (63%) and teachers with five or fewer years of experience (75%).
School Hallway Empty
Even teachers who haven't adopted AI expressed interest in trying out AI tools to help with things like lesson planning. (Kerem Yucel / Anadolu Agency / File / Getty Images)
Additionally, 68% of teachers who haven't adopted AI said they're likely to try it for curriculum and planning, a sentiment most popular among kindergarten and elementary school teachers with 72%.

"We're seeing teachers leverage AI's enormous potential in the classroom to enhance the quality of content they're creating and win back time for what they enjoy most: like being creative and engaging with students," Daff said.

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