By the Light of the Silvery Moon
Teacher Moonlighting and the Dark Side of Teachers' Work
Edited by Eleanor J. Blair
Published: April 2018
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Published: April 2018
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Published: June 2018

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Published: June 2018
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6" x 9"
Language: English

A 2018 AESA Critics' Choice Award Winner
A 2019 SPE Outstanding Book Award Winner

Teacher moonlighting has been studied and documented since at least the early 1960s, and yet, it can be easily argued that the phenomenon is still not understood. Teachers moonlight in higher numbers than other professions, and while most teachers claim that they do it for the money, increases in their compensation have not reduced the practice.

By the Light of the Silvery Moon is the first book to provide a thorough review of the research on the topic, looking deeply into the intricate workings of a profession that is at least imperiled or, in the best of scenarios, a profession that is in transition. Teachers play a critical role in society, so teaching needs to be a sustainable profession where teachers may still moonlight, but the opportunities to expand the status as well as the content and context of their work are unlimited. This book fills an important gap in the literature by bringing together the research and situating it within a broader conversation about teachers’ work.

Perfect for courses such as: All undergraduate and graduate Foundations of Education courses, Introduction to Education, History and Philosophy of Education, and Teacher Leadership.

Table of Contents:


Foreword by Richard Wisniewski

Introduction: Those Who Can, Teach...and Work Two Jobs by Eleanor J. Blair

Section One: Teacher Moonlighting: Studied and Still Misunderstood

1. Shedding Light on the Dark Side of Teacher Moonlighting by Jeffrey A. Raffel & Lance R. Groff

2. A Study of Moonlighting by Public School Teachers by Doyne M. Smith & Bernice Cooper

3. Teacher Moonlighting: Interviews with Physical Educators by Jacqueline A. Williams

4. Teacher Moonlighting: An Unstudied Phenomenon by Richard Wisniewski & Paul Kleine

Section Two: Teacher Moonlighting IS Teachers' Work

5. Gender Differences in Multiple Jobholding: Moonlighting among Teachers by Stephen C. Betts

6. Moonlighting and Morale: The Impact on Educators Who Moonlight and How Classroom Teaching Suffers by Sharon Brown, Sam L. Sullivan, & Bob Maninger

7. Characteristics and Working Conditions of Moonlighting Teachers: Evidence from the 2011-2012 Schools and Staffing Survey by Paul G. Fitchett, Tina L. Heafner, & Susan B. Harden

Section Three: Teacher Moonlighting in the 21st Century: An Old Wine in a New Bottle

8. Teacher Moonlighting: The Good, the Bad, and the Possible by Stephen P. Gordon & Janis Newby Parham

9. New Moon: Teacher Moonlighting in the Digital Age by Rick Hartsell & Sarah Hunt-Barron

10. I'm a Sinner, I'm a Saint: A Teacher's Perspective on Moonlighting in the Nightlife Industry by Cara Kronen

11. Sabriya and Me: An Essential Conversation about the Nontraditional Teacher Professional and a Life of Teacher Moonlighting by Hilton Kelly

12. Conclusion: Where Do We Go from Here? by Eleanor J. Blair


Reviews & Endorsements:

"Through careful curation of wide-ranging studies and essays, Eleanor J. Blair demonstrates that teacher moonlighting is ubiquitous, covert, and ripe with potential for supporting new conceptions of teacher professionalism. As such, this book is a worthwhile read for teachers, administrators, teacher educators, researchers, and policymakers interested in understanding the implications of teachers’ work." (Click HERE to read full review.)

"In By the Light of the Silvery Moon: Teacher Moonlighting and the Dark Side of Teachers’ Work, Eleanor J. Blair crafts a comprehensive examination of the complicated phenomenon of teachers’ work outside of their classrooms. This edited volume includes a collection of previously published and unpublished research articles on teacher moonlighting as well as thoughtful analysis by the editor. Utilizing both quantitative and qualitative research methods, Silvery Moon relates insightful research along with thought-provoking discourse that will surely engage readers from a wide range experience in education. Practitioners, school leaders and education researchers alike will find useful knowledge in this text examining an elusive facet of the life of a professional teacher." (Read full review HERE.)

Jeffrey Keese, Texas A&M University

"This book is a must-read for teachers, administrators, policymakers, and anyone with an interest in entering the teaching profession. It leaves the reader with much to consider as it argues for respectable, fair working conditions in our 21st century schools. Blair concludes that as long as working conditions remain hostile and as long as personnel and educational decisions are left to a disconnected central office, teachers will be subjugated to a subprofessional role wherein moonlighting is normalized. Overall, the text makes valid arguments for change within the teaching profession while also leaving many opportunities for future research to move the discussion forward." For full review, click HERE.

William Leach and Erin Miller, University of North Carolina at Charlotte - , Teachers College Record

“Ellie Blair opens up moonlighting and invites us to join her and her contributing authors in exploring its many and often multifaceted meanings. What do these meanings mean in the lives of teachers? Moonlighting, it turns out, is not a simple matter. For anyone who takes collective learning seriously, moonlighting is a symptom of a larger reality. This is the reality of how and why we mistreat teachers as we do. Has this mistreatment and total disrespect led some teachers to no longer hear teaching as their all-consuming calling? Have we so badly alienated them that teaching ceases being a life’s vocation and gets reduced to 'just another job?' Or maybe, for those who never really heard it as their calling, moonlighting just helps a teacher take the edge off their day. Ellie breaks new and very intriguing ground here for everyone from theorists to policymakers.”

David Gabbard, Boise State University

"The question, why do teachers moonlight?, is truly an open-ended one. While the correlation of moonlighting to teacher salaries may be a simple extrapolation, the reality is more perplexing. Perhaps one of the most compelling facets of By the Light of the Silvery Moon, is Blair’s dedication to the enigma that is teacher moonlighting. On the surface, the rationale behind teacher moonlighting seems basic: money. However, beneath the surface lies multiple layers of varying depth rendering the phenomena both simple to understand, yet difficult to solve. … Teachers may like their moonlighting jobs, but why they sought them in the first place is the critical question." For full review, click HERE.

Clint Iadanza, Western Illinois University

By the Light of the Silvery Moon offers students, teachers, administrators, and policy makers a fresh perspective on the topic of teacher moonlighting. There is no other book like this on the market. Readers will find a delightful variety of works done around an issue that all teachers know about but are afraid to talk about in public. By the Light of the Silvery Moon can initiate needed conversations about teachers’ lives, the culture of teaching, and the impact that teacher moonlighting has on the profession.”

Yolanda Medina, Borough of Manhattan Community College

“Finally, a collection of essays that confronts the economic reality of the lives of teachers. A society that takes one of its most treasured professions—teaching and denies that profession decent wages forcing teachers to moonlight is reprehensible. This book enlightens readers through a number of provocative essays that focus upon the necessity of numerous teachers working additional jobs to survive economically and the consequences of that moonlighting. It should be required reading for all those concerned about the state of education and the profession of teaching in the present historical moment.”

William M. Reynolds, Georgia Southern University

“Blair has indeed illuminated a dimension of the lives of teachers about which few non-teachers are aware . . . we are not yet a true profession. And those who teach and strive for middle class lives make tough choices. Historically, teaching was something one did on the way somewhere else or because the school year aligned with farming and childcare. Blair's close examination of the prevalence of the two-job teacher in the 21st century shows how little the semi-profession has changed.”

Michelle Collay, University of New England

“What does it mean to be an American teacher? Thanks to Dr. Blair’s work on moonlighting, we know it means finding a second income.”

J. Casey Hurley, Western Carolina University

“With By the Light of the Silvery Moon, Eleanor Blair presents us with a groundbreaking book that shines the light on a phenomenon of teachers' work not recognized by most: teacher moonlighting. The contributors to this provocative and deeply engaging edited volume keep the readers captivated by essays that cover a broad range of perspectives on moonlighting, including its manifestations in the digital age. These essays reveal a complex set of motivations that cause teachers to take on additional jobs and how this multiplicity of jobs can affect teachers at the professional and personal levels, and the teaching profession overall. The book is a must-read for pre-service teachers, teachers, policy-makers and all those interested in understanding how social, ethical, economical, and political factors can shape the teaching profession when working conditions of teachers are framed by market-fundamentalism.”

Ana Cruz, St. Louis Community College-Meramac