For the last two and a half years, I've been tutoring a student who is studying criminal justice at a college on one of the American military bases. This is one of the reasons that I have insight into both the American and Japanese justice systems and wrote the "This is not America" posts. I'm not speaking from anecdotal experiences. I'm speaking as someone who has taken courses side-by-side with my student as she's mainly taken distance courses and my job has been to read her texts and provide a lecture for her to base her papers on. I'm just as much a student as she is, but I have the added benefit of her research into the Japanese justice system (in Japanese) as a part of my learning process. It's how I learned things like there are no rights provided in line with habeas corpus in Japan (or that they are ignored).
At any rate, one of the things about helping someone get through college is that you are taken back to the time when you were going through the process yourself. All of the issues that I experienced with some of my teachers back then are in play for my student as well, and I find myself frustrated on her behalf.
One of the biggest problems that students complain about is the amount of work that teachers give them. Each teacher tends to expect not only attendance at lectures and reading the textbook, but regular personal research into related topics and articles. Some teachers assign work as if their class were the only one the students are taking, or at least as if their class is the most important and therefore worthy of a disproportionate amount of the students' study time.
My student is currently studying with one of these types of teachers. She has a gigantic text chock full of more information than anyone could possibly retain on the first pass, but he also expects her to research for articles and information on discussion topics. This is on top of writing essays every week for homework. It appears to be a daunting task for even the students who speak English as a native language as my student has forwarded messages from the teacher where he complains that they are just writing their opinions too much and not doing enough volitional work to augment their essays content. Never mind that at least some of the questions that the teacher is telling them to answer are opinion-based questions...
The other point that I recognize as being akin to my college experiences is that some teachers don't actually teach. I considered myself fortunate that the vast majority of my teachers at university lectured on the content they wanted you to learn. A few of them, however, mainly told stories or anecdotes and did not actually teach so much as fill the time in a way which was easy and entertaining for them. My feeling is that teachers are supposed to aid the digestion of the material they want you to learn. They're supposed to take some of the hairier elements of the topic and make things much clearer than a book could. Teachers who just have chat sessions or tell stories tend to expect the students to regurgitate the book on tests and in papers while not actually helping you succeed at either of these tasks with their lectures. I will note that I only got a "B" in one of my psychology classes after choosing my major (the rest were all A's) and it was in a class with a teacher who did this sort of story telling and time-wasting class while testing us on the textbook material.
Another point I recognize through my student's work is that every teacher has different idiosyncrasies about how written work is done. Some of them take off points for sentences that are too long. Some of them take off points for paragraphs with too few sentences in them. Others have strict style guidelines which differ from those of other professors. Some of the really lazy ones insist that the students type out or copy and paste every question they are answering as part of a test or essay so that the teacher does not have to reference the questions while reading the answers. Others get miffed if you waste their time and word counts on putting the questions in your work.
The bottom line with the idiosyncratic choices for each teacher is that I have to help my student work out what they want each time and help her tailor her work to fit in with what a particular teacher's wishes are. Usually, it takes a few assignments and analysis of comments and corrections to work out what they want to get it right. This illustrates how subjective the academic evaluation process is as each teacher applies a different standard.
Finally, the one constant is that teachers grade you higher if you concur with their viewpoints on topics which require an opinion or conclusion. The teacher of my student's current class is a former police officer who identifies more strongly with victims. If my student expresses less punitive views of the perpetrator of a crime (such as mental illness factoring into punishment and charges), he's less likely to see what she writes or says favorably.
This is one of the stickier idiosyncrasies because there's a choice to be made in terms of either pandering to the teacher's bias to get a better grade or to simply be honest. Some teachers are open-minded enough to grade objectively if an opinion is backed up with research or evidence. Some are not. I haven't sussed this one out yet in that regard, but I'll know soon enough based on how she is graded on particular assignments.
One thing this has reminded me of is that we grow up seeing teachers as being authorities and being scholarly. In many cases, we see them as knowing much more than us and being in control in a manner which we are not. From a certain viewpoint, that is true. They are in control of the class and speak with confidence and authority. Of course, this is easier to do when you've presented the same material over and over and over again. The idiosyncrasies I've noted illustrate, however, that (at least some) teachers are just as human as anyone else and as likely as your boss at your office to apply arbitrary standards or unrealistic expectations as anyone else.