Adopting AI could prevent $77 billion of unpaid teacher overtime

A new report has revealed that U.S. teachers work a combined 1.75 billion hours of overtime every year – equivalent to $84 billion in unpaid hours – but that the support offered by AI tools could shrink that figure by over 85 percent.

According to the analysis published by educational publisher Twinkl, U.S. teachers work an average of 15.1 hours a week above what they’re contracted to work – but are exempt from receiving overtime pay under current Department of Labor regulations.

The findings reference 2023 data from the Department of Education, which suggests teachers could each regain as many as 13 hours a week by embracing AI tools.

The repercussions of high work hours for America’s 3.2 million teachers have severely impacted teacher turnover, which has experienced highs over the past three years. During the 2021-2022 school year, national turnover rates reached 10%, while in some of the most underserved schools, teacher turnover exceeded 16 percent.

“The numbers speak for themselves. Teachers are leaving the profession in unprecedented numbers, and unpaid overtime is a major contributing factor,” said Jude Schroeder, ex-teacher and now U.S. Manager at Twinkl. “Teachers will always be crucial, and AI will never replace the essential element of face-to-face instruction, but there are so many ways in which AI can help make teaching a more sustainable and rewarding career.”

These saved hours, the report says, are from saved time completing non-teaching activities such as lesson planning, grading papers, and reporting data.

“It’s not about taking teachers out of the classroom, but rather empowering them within the classroom. Teachers spend so much time completing administrative tasks that less and less energy is left for actual in-class teaching. AI is fantastic for eliminating the time-draining aspects of teaching, which are causing teacher burnout and, ultimately, driving them out of the profession,” added Schroeder.

Several AI-powered tools supporting educators have been released in recent months by EdTech organizations aiming to create teaching efficiency.

These tools save time and allow educators to tailor materials to individual skill levels, which is especially critical as educators work to address gaps in students’ knowledge caused by pandemic disruptions.

Twinkl offers a teacher report writer tool that generates student report cards based on raw performance information and a personal AI teaching assistant, “Ari,” which can create adapted lesson materials aligned with curriculum standards and differentiated to meet the needs of all learners.

You can read the full report on the Twinkl website and try Twinkl’s teacher AI tools built to support educators and learners.

Twinkl Educational Publishing serves educators in every U.S. state and provides a constantly updated collection of high-quality, low-cost teaching resources. Our resources are written, edited, and proofed in-house by certified, experienced educators and brought to life by our professional graphic designers and illustrators.

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