Hi Cowgirl, there is only a few things you need to be familiar with in relation to brood. #1 Capped honey vs capped brood. #2 Worker brood vs drone brood. #3 Brood in all stages. #4 Learn to recognize disease such as chalk brood or foul brood diseases. & #5 Look for signs of swarming.
Edit- I forgot to mention pollen. Learn how to recognise pollen.
I think the most important thing for a new beekeeper is to become familiar with the brood. Do lots of brood inspections during warm dry weather.
Possibly the best learning tool you could have is a simple observation hive, such as the one that I built. The only expense was the perspex. I had the rest of the wood laying around. The thing about it is that it’s portable. I use one fully drawn comb in the middle with foundationless frames on each side. That way you can look on either side to watch the progress of the comb building. After those two frames are built, you can unite them with another hive & let the bees start again on two new foundationless frames.
If you want to, you can close the vented entrance closer during the evening & take it anywhere you want to the next day, should you get invited to do a talk on bees etc.