Tidbits for instructors

In my six years at Southeastern, I've had 45 different professors. That's a lot of classrooms, uncomfortable desks and long lectures. Looking back on my college experience, it's all a blur; however, my perspective comes from the handful of instructors I've taken who actually taught the material they were supposed to. These few instructors were organized, on time for class and went out of their way to make sure students passed. They knew my name, interests and goals. However, there will always be those teachers I remember for a completely different reason.
Every semester, I always had at least one instructor who carried on about their personal life during class time. This always bothered me; my parents aren't paying money for me to sit in a classroom listening to my instructor go on for 15 minutes about her sister-in-law's failing co-dependent marriage. It gets worse when other students in the class begin to chime in with their stories because even more time and money is lost.
As a student of a higher education institution, I pay good money to attend classes. When I graduate, I'll be more than $20,000 in debt and unemployed until I'm lucky enough to find a job in my field. Instructors with stories about their home life, pets, money problems or any other anecdotes should keep those away from the students. I don't feel students should have to listen to their instructor's personal stories unless it directly applies to the class material.
Three years ago in my art history class, my instructor would come to class every morning, set up her power point and begin to lecture. It took two extra class periods to cover the chapter on Roman art because every few minutes she would begin talking about her honeymoon to Rome with her husband. The classroom was big, so nobody spoke up to move her along. We usually had a chunk of notes cut out of every test because we never covered them in class.
When instructors carry on about their personal life in class, it's like they are being paid to talk about themselves. I like it when my class stays on the topic at hand. It's much less stressful.
Though I feel this way, and I'm sure many other students do too, we can't do much about it. The instructor is the superior; they have the authority.
One of the many important lessons I've learned through my college experience is that you must do your research before registering for classes. Use ratemyprofessor.com, talk to your adviser and people on campus. Ask them about the faculty before making any choices. Also, registering at the last minute will pretty much guarantee that you will get the last classes available. Trust me, procrastination is not worth it.
Quality instruction comes from collaboration between the student and the instructor. It's a give-and-take relationship which can only be achieved through understanding the person behind the podium.