How we cite our quotes:
School teachers suffer a good deal from having to listen to this sort of twaddle from proud parents, but they usually get their own back when the time comes to write the end-of-term reports. If I were a teacher I would cook up some real scorchers for the children of doting parents. (1.4)
Apparently, all parents think their kids are the greatest things since sliced bread, and the teachers have to wait for the report cards in order to tell the whole grim truth. The narrator says he'd have fun with this part, cooking up scorchers (or making up lies) so that the parents are really surprised to learn what their children act like in school. Sounds kind of fun (if a little mean).
"I'm wondering what to read next," Matilda said. "I've finished all the children's books."
"You mean you've looked at the pictures?"
"Yes, but I've read the books as well." (1.20-22)
You can't really blame Mrs. Phelps here, for being a bit skeptical about Matilda's abilities. She looks like a five-year-old, so she must read like one, too, right? What's so awesome about this little scene is that we get the sense, early on, that Matilda will keep defying the expectations of her teachers and the other adults in her life. They won't be able to educate her in the way they typically would teach a student. It's a different ballgame altogether.
"A fine writer will always make you feel that," Mrs Phelps said. "And don't worry about the bits you can't understand. Sit back and allow the words to wash around you, like music." (1.49)
Mrs. Phelps would be an awesome teacher. She's so much more than a librarian who gives Matilda books. She shows Matilda how to read them, by letting the words wash over her. That just goes to show that reading can be about more than just gaining facts and knowledge; it can be an experience.