OK – to be honest, it’s not really glass. And it’s not a classroom at school.
It’s a display classroom that Bergamo Montessori is taking on the road to various places – parks, fairs, fun-runs, community events – in Woodland, Davis, Sacramento, and El Dorado Hills.
Our classroom is modeled after the Glass Classroom that Dr. Montessori displayed at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco in 1915.
Chesther Goncalvez (husband of Daneen, one of our Lower Elementary guides at Bergamo) built the classroom structure. We wanted it to be clean, modern, and sleek – but not take away from the beautiful classroom materials or the children working inside. It’s 24 x 24 (576 square feet) – so smaller than an normal classroom.
The goal of the classroom at each event is to raise awareness about authentic Montessori education. The Glass Classsroom “provides an intimate view” of the Montessori education model. Populated by our Primary Guides and a handful of our students, it is a striking display! Can you imagine parents walking by asking themselves “what is that?”… which opens up a conversation with us about Montessori.
If you’d like more information on the original Glass Classroom, we found this charming story from the San Francisco Chronicle on the 100th Anniversary of the Exposition in 2015. It is an interview with a student of the original classroom in 1915, during it’s four month run at the year long world’s fair. Ralph Waldo Weilerstein was 104 at the time of the article, and what a treasure to hear his reflections!
Stay tuned to this blog, our calendar, and our Facebook page for information on upcoming Glass Classroom events!