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Student Stories

Bang Cong Huynh

I came to learn about STIMULUS in early 2014 from an email sent out by my Department and I have been with the programme since then. STIMULUS has given me many fantastic opportunities to take some time off from my regular routine to help local Sixth-Form students with their learning. The process of trying to look for a simple way to explain a baffling concept to an inquisitive student can be really challenging, but being able to witness how they light up after managing to understand and appreciate what was previously confusing always brings about a rewarding feeling of joy and satisfaction. This also provides an amazing way to relax and take a deep breath in the middle of a hectic term.

Thanks to STIMULUS, I have also had a lot of chances to chat with various teachers to learn more about what it is actually like in the teaching profession. I have come out of this with a greater appreciation for the many challenges teachers have to overcome to ensure the best learning experience for students. Undoubtedly, these are invaluable lessons that I can always reflect upon whenever I seek to engage in any form of teaching.

I hope that STIMULUS will continue to connect Cambridge students with local pupils and provide both with great opportunities to learn from one another. STIMULUS has definitely inspired me to teach, and I have faith that it will continue to pass on the passion to many more students to come.

Simon Goorney

I took part in the STIMULUS programme as a teaching assistant for GCSE Physics, and I can honestly say that I had a fantastic time. The teacher was very accommodating and I quickly became appreciated by the class. Every week I looked forward to the two hours I’d spend with them!

There's little more rewarding than helping students to understand something, when the lightbulb goes on it feels great and you know that you’ve made a difference. The skills I have developed are really useful too, if you can communicate effectively with teenagers then you can do so with anyone, and it seems that employers value that. The responsibility is a challenge but that just makes the programme all the more valuable. STIMULUS as an experience has definitely solidified my interest in Education, thank you Jacqui and STIMULUS for your superb organisation!

Georgina Allsop

Through the STIMULUS scheme I have been able to try out placements in a primary school, a secondary school and a sixth form college to see which age group I am best suited to teach. I have applied for secondary PGCE Maths courses and my STIMULUS placements are what made my application stand out from others.

On my most recent placement I was given the opportunity to teach a 90-minute A level Maths lesson on the equations of circles which allowed me to get a feel for planning and leading a lesson. I received valuable feedback from the students and from my placement teacher which I can use to improve my lessons in the future.

Sin Wai Winnie Pui

I joined the STIMULUS family two years ago. I have not only gained teaching experience in a local context, but also built up connections with the teachers. The teachers I work with are friendly and helpful. They have got to know my interests and try their best to accommodate my needs. All these valuable experiences have allowed me to have a better understanding of the educational system in England as well as stimulating great ideas and creating new thoughts in my PhD study.

Regardless of whether you are working in the field of education, this is a good opportunity for you to explore how you could put your research ideas into a more real-life context – to educate the next generation. Although you’ll spend less than two hours a week volunteering, you could gain a lot of fun and experience from this programme. Why not give it a try?! I am looking forward to seeing you soon!

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