How we cite our quotes:
"[…] My idea of a perfect school, Miss Honey, is one that has no children in it at all. One of these days I shall start up a school like that. I think it will be very successful." (14.3)
Here, we get a handle on what a bad educator the Trunchbull is. She thinks the best school will be one with no kids. None. Of course this is hilarious, because the idea itself makes absolutely zero sense. A school with no students isn't a school at all. It's just an empty building. And what, in the world, is the point of that?
There was a moment of silence, and Matilda, who had never before heard great romantic poetry spoken aloud, was profoundly moved. "It's like music," she whispered. (16.43)
You can tell that Matilda loves learning and stretching her mind. She doesn't just try to learn things to get good grades or to please other people. Far from it. (After all, the more she learns, the more her parents seem to hate her.) Instead, Matilda likes learning for the sake of learning—it moves her, brings her joy, expands her world.
From then on, every day after school, Matilda shut herself in her room and practised with the cigar. And soon it all began to come together in the most wonderful way. Six days later, by the following Wednesday evening, she was able not only to lift the cigar up into the air but also to move it around exactly as she wished. It was beautiful. (19.16)
There's no library Matilda can go to in order to teach herself how to move the cigar with her mind. She has to do it on her own. She has to teach herself, and she does it splendidly. Sometimes, learning is just a matter of a little imagination combined with a lot of practice.