It's clear from the get-go that Philip doesn't have much time for Miss Narwin. Everything about her gets on his nerves, from her forbidding demeanor to the "boring" books she insists on teaching. (Philip's not a fan of The Call of the Wild).
In the confines of his diary, Phillip confides his true thoughts on his least favorite teacher. One of the less flattering entries is that Miss Narwin's so uptight she must have been put together by superglue. An even worse crime in Philip's eyes is that she doesn't appear to have a sense of humor. Whenever Phillip goofs off in class—which is often—Miss Narwin always cuts him dead with a frightening, flinty stare. But even if he tries to behave Miss Narwin still won't cut him any slack.
There's a major conflict brewing here. And everything appears perfectly set up for an epic battle of wills between two forceful personalities.