Matilda has gone from visiting the library on her own to going to school and encounters other children. In these chapters I read about a teacher who I feel is very admirable and intelligent and also about someone who allegedly is in charge but is simply not very believable. (However, yes, I've encountered folks like Miss Trunchbull, albeit not in a school situation). I am glad to notice, in this book, that the spirit of all the students is not crushed, and that there are people like Lavender in Matilda's class.
For me, first days at school were not very difficult because of the small community in which I lived. Since we pretty much all knew each other it was more like going back to a situation where we'd see each other again, just with different teachers. Going to high school was a bit different because suddenly there were a lot more students from a wider area in the classes, and at the school itself -- but even so, the classes in which I found myself had a particular kind of student in it, folks who love to study and do well in class. (It was just very difficult, I thought sometimes, to be in a class with such geniuses as Trina and Jim, whose IQs were up in the stratosphere.) I've had the very good fortune to have some excellent teachers. Folks who encouraged me to use my abilities and learn and explore. We had the 'jock' factor, as Shiloh mentions, but fortunately for the school, the teachers all seemed to be of the opinion that school grades did matter and the students had to legitimately qualify for a team (ie keeping their grades up to the best of their ability). Attention was given to the spirit of the rules, as well as to the 'letter' of it.
"You have the inborn natural right to remain silent. Don't think about it, don't talk about it, shuush ....... STILL." ~ Xaris