Miss Brave; I’m going to have to get used to being called that


I hated my school growing up! Getting up in the morning and putting on my uniform was a chore, and the first thing I did when I came home from school at the end of the day was to change out of it. Despite all of that I loved learning and I did well at school, particularly in English. Maybe it was just the school I attended; a public Catholic school in rural Ireland, previously run by the nuns – two of whom were still there when I went to school, relics of a bygone era. After my rather creative primary school where we wore what we wanted, and there was art and crafts galore, I suddenly had to wear a uniform which consisted of a hideous grey skirt, a bright blue sweater – I still can’t see that colour without cringing, – a blue shirt and knee length grey socks, and there were so many rules.

By year 12 I couldn’t wait to get out of there, vowing I would never set foot in a school again. Little did I think then that well over a decade later I would be studying to become a teacher!

When I was younger I went through a phase of wanting to be a vet, until I read James Herriot, brilliant books, absolutely hilarious but they put me off that notion, later it was an air hostess, until I realised it wasn’t as glamorous as it looked and you didn’t actually get to see much of the places you travelled to.  I’ve tried a bit of this and a bit of that over the years and now I’ve finally decided I had better put my head down and do something worthwhile and fulfilling, so teaching it looks like it will be, time will tell how I go teaching.


After a few years off studying, it’s great to be back learning again and using my brain. It’s challenging, something that’s always driven me and I’m thoroughly enjoying it as we’ll as writing assignments again. As a self confessed nerd, I’ve always enjoyed writing, whether for school, work or pleasure and it’s nice to be doing it again.

Now the theory is all well and good, however, the daunting part will come, next month, when I have to stand up in front of a class of teenagers and teach them. The closer it’s getting the more nervous I am becoming.

When I visited my first school for an observation a few weeks ago, I had to sign in at the reception and wait for the lady I was meeting to arrive. As I sat there, I began to panic; what the hell was I doing in a school, memories came flooding back and I wondered why I had decided to go into teaching. But then the lady arrived and took me to meet the other teachers and I sat in on a few lessons, and gradually I began to feel much more at ease. It wasn’t the same school I had gone to growing up, the students seemed nice, the other teachers were very friendly and to be honest with you, I think I can do it; be  a teacher that is.

Will I make much of a difference? At this stage I’m still very idealistic about teaching, only time will tell if these ideals will come about. But for now, going in with a positive attitude and the aim to succeed and enjoy it is a good enough start for me.

I know it won’t be easy. Once I’ve done the first week of my placement I’ll report back and let you all know how it went. In the meantime I’ll be busy reading and writing assignments and getting increasingly nervous about the actual teaching part of teaching!



Filed under Teaching

3 responses to “Miss Brave; I’m going to have to get used to being called that

  1. Saira

    Good luck on your new venture! Saira

  2. Michiel Brave

    I am sure you can do it Ethna, remember your mother trained as a teacher too…. If you teach teenagers, it is very important ( next to the subject you teach) “who you are…” and how true to yourself you are… From there you should not have a problem…. Remember dat behind each pupil, is hiding a interesting and wonderful personelity. Good luck to your new challenge.

  3. You will be ace! You love books and you should definitely share that passion with the room of teens – plus you are in Oz and I am sure the sunshine makes everyone happier! Glad I have a buddy in the same boat! xxxx

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