Ms. Samantha Valdez » Welcome!


Hello, hola! :)


My name is Samantha (Sam) Valdez and I am a first year teacher at Garfield High School! I am so excited to be teaching in the community that I grew up in and to be able to support young scholars in their learning! 


I am currently still a graduate student in the Teacher Education Program at UCLA, working to obtain my Masters in Education in Social Studies and I already hold a preliminary teaching credential and Bilingual Authorization to teach in Spanish. 

I grew up in the Montebello, Boyle Heights and East L.A. communities. I attended Greenwood Elementary, Lorena St. Elementary, Stevenson Middle School, and Oscar de la Hoya Animo Charter High School. I graduated from UCLA with a Bachelors in History and a Minor in Classical Civilizations in 2019, and started two years of service in City Year Los Angeles at Nava College Preparatory Academy and Thomas Jefferson High School in South Central. My two years at NAVA were full of personal and professional growth. It was an amazing experience being able to support students inside the classroom, offer small group and 1:1 support, and especially building relationships during our City Year After School Program. 


Through my experiences, I saw first hand the importance of establishing a caring classroom community. One in which all students feel seen, valued, and heard. I hope that my classroom offers all students to feel like they have a space they belong and where they feel comfortable to learn and challenge themselves to grow.


As a social justice educator, it is important to me that I am actively being an ally to my students and their needs. I aspire to enhance equity, promote students' sense of agency and leadership, and make them feel supported and cared for in my classroom. As a person of color, who grew up in a Spanish speaking, immigrant household, in low income and mostly Latine communities, I am passionate about providing students from urban public schools an education that is relevant to them, their families, and to the larger community that they are a part of. To me, community is being able to nurture students’ sense of belonging, whether that refers to the classroom, the wider school community, and the neighborhoods in which they live. 

Feel free to email me anytime at: [email protected] 
- everyday during lunch 
- I'm usually in class for 15-30 minutes after school ends, so feel free to drop by! 
- by appointment! Just let me know when you are able to meet up and I'll make sure to set time apart to support in any way that I can.