Work Experience Blog - Michael

I arrived in Tara Station on Monday at ten o’clock on my first day of two weeks of work experience with the Irish Second-Level Students Union. I went up to the 9th floor in Liberty Hall and introduced myself to Charlotte. I started with doing the TY survey on the ISSU website. Unfortunately I could not complete all of the survey as I’m not finished TY let. I then started a survey for those who have completed TY to see student’s opinion on TY and see how it can be of higher quality for the students involved. Tuesday I arrived in and met Isobel I was told to go on twitter and follow any secondary schools in the country that were on twitter. When I first looked at the list of schools I was a little stunned as there were 722 schools in the country. In the first fifteen schools seven were on twitter. Around eleven me and Isobel went to Mount Carmel Secondary School were she was going to give a talk on Student Councils, how they should be run and what the different roles are. I found this talk beneficial for myself as I am a member of the student council in my school. When we went back I continued with following more schools on twitter with some success. On Wednesday I resumed following secondary schools on twitter. It was a bit difficult to find some of the right schools as some schools had similar names with schools in Britain and the U.S. Later on in the afternoon I tweeted all of the schools I had followed since Tuesday asking if they had registered for our Dublin regional seminar. On Thursday I was calling schools in Co. Dublin asking if they had received a letter from us about a Dublin regional seminar we were holding with the Department of Education about TY students giving there feedback on the programme. Some schools that I called had no knowledge of the letter or of the event so after talking to the secretaries I emailed the schools that I had connected. I could only hope that most of them would register for Monday. Friday I started calling schools from Co. Kildare asking the same as yesterday but I got the same response. One of the members of the Board of Directors came in and helped me and Isobel with contacting some schools. After lunch I was putting a cover letter and two posters in envelopes for schools in Connacht for our regional seminar in Galway City on the 18th.  We decided to address the Letter directly to the TY Co-ordinators of each school to make sure they received them.  On Monday morning I went to the Department of Education & Skills instead of Liberty Hall. (I did get a bit lost trying to find the place) It was the first of a two day event we were holding with the Department in the clock tower on the grounds of the Department. My task on the first day was to observe and participate in the seminar. We were split in to groups of about 4/5 and were asked different questions of how we liked and disliked TY and if we had any changes for TY. After lunch we had a talk from Mark the president of the ISSU about student councils and student voices. There were then elections for the education panel, welfare and equality panel and regional representatives. I was elected for the education panel. Tuesday I was assisting Isobel and Charlotte with the seminar. My role was to give out paper, pens etc. and walk around and help the groups if they needed anything. I stayed with one group in particular as only one of the four in the group was in TY. I tried to persuade the other three about doing TY but they didn’t really seem keen. On Wednesday I was looking at the CSPE Curriculum to see how it can be reformed and how it can be more appealing to students. After searching up on ideas and coming up with some myself there is a demand for a greater look at politics and rights and to make it optional for Leaving Cert. I looked up other countries in Europe to see if they had any thing similar to CSPE in there own countries. France has ECJS which is quite similar to CSPE. On Thursday I was contacting schools in Co. Galway, Westmeath and Clare for our Galway regional seminar and asking if the TY Co-ordinator had received the letter and if they were planning on registering for Monday’s event. Most Co-ordinators couldn’t come to the phone as they had class but I passed the message about the seminar onto the secretaries. Now it’s Friday and I’m glad I choose to do my Work Experience with the ISSU I have learned a lot over the past two weeks and every one in the office has been great. I would recommend everyone to at least do one week of work experience here.