By Marlee Ginter

ELK GROVE (CBS13) — Self-proclaimed tutors are popping up all over social media, advertising on yard signs and clogging Craigslist.

The task to find a tutor hasn’t been easy for Bonnie Tam.

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“We get a lot of candidates who say ‘I’ve worked with kids,’ well teaching is very different. Teaching is a very special skill set,” said Tam.

It’s not that they’re not out there. In fact, it’s the exact opposite right now. David Vallergea owns GradePower Learning, a tutoring center in Elk Grove.

“We’ve seen a tremendous amount of advertising I’ve never seen before. Craigslist has nearly exploded,” said Vallerga.

There are so many self-proclaimed tutors in the age of distance learning, it can be overwhelming to pinpoint the real deal.

“There’s also a huge number of people that are unemployed and everybody decided, ‘Hey I can be a teacher, I can be a tutor.’ And with that comes some challenges,” said Vallerga.

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Vallerga says lookout for people inflating their abilities. The tutor who says they can teach everything may not be an expert in the subject you’re looking for. Watch for people using pressure tactics. Typically, people in education want to help and won’t push you to sign up for sessions immediately.

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Considering many are opting for online tutors, look out for anyone asking you to use a payment platform you’re not familiar with.

“It’s been a headache,” said Tam.

She still hasn’t found a Mandarin tutor for her child. And while she has had her fair share of tutor troubles, she’s also the executive director at the Huntington Learning Center where she’s trying to help other parents.

“It’s kind of unnerving to see how many people are willing to do it based on very minimal experience,” said Tam.

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The Better Business Bureau advises parents to ask their child’s teacher for a local tutor and check their references. And after you hire, check in with your child to see if they’re making progress.