Surprisingly, these burned-out workers don’t fear AI—they welcome it

There are plenty of legitimate fears about AI taking over the world. But you know who isn’t so worried? Teachers. That’s not because teachers don’t care if their students use AI to write all their essays or complete their algebra homework—they do. But they’re also seriously burned out and turning to AI to give them some assistance.

According to a new Canva survey of 1,000 U.S.-based kindergarten-through-grade-12 teachers, educators are struggling. That comes as no huge surprise. And judging by the numbers, teachers need more than apples to feel appreciated. Most teachers (83%) are experiencing burnout on at least some days. And over a third (35%) are feeling it on all or most days.

But while we’ve heard concern from teachers regarding their students using AI, the new survey also shows that teachers are more optimistic about AI than previously thought—at least, when it comes to its ability to lighten their loads.

There are a lot of culprits for teachers’ stress. For starters, about half (46%) of teachers report that classroom and student management responsibilities (which are more all-encompassing than they once were) are to blame. Almost as many (42%) say a lack of administrative support is driving burnout. Another 38% say their low compensation drives burnout, and 37% describe the need to work outside of their school hours as taxing.

However, there’s a pretty big correlation between AI use and job satisfaction in teaching. About 42% of K-12 teachers used AI in their classrooms over the past school year, and 92% of the AI users said it was helpful for work efficiency and helping to decrease burnout, as well as promoting creativity and visual communication. Of teachers who said they were satisfied with their jobs, 46% used AI, compared to 26% of their unsatisfied counterparts.

“We often hear from our teacher communities about needing to achieve more with less,” said Carly Daff, head of teams and education at Canva. “Teaching stress is complex and can’t be solved with any one tool. Still, it’s encouraging to see that teachers benefit from AI in alleviating their workloads, saving time, and unlocking their creativity.”

While many teachers haven’t yet begun using AI in the classroom, even those teachers are more hopeful than concerned about its impact: 56% of those who haven’t tried AI believe it can reduce burnout. In particular, 63% of Gen Z and millennial teachers and 75% of teachers with less than five years of experience believe it to be a good thing. Certainly, it looks like the tide is turning when it comes to teachers embracing the technology, with 68% reporting that they are likely to try AI for curriculum and planning.

With the majority of teachers (a staggering 57%) saying they’ve considered switching schools or quitting teaching altogether, almost no educator is immune to feeling depleted. But while there are plenty of reasons to worry about how students may use AI to phone in their assignments, it seems that teachers are looking at the technology through a less skeptical lens than ever. How do you like them apples?