i live six hours away from my teacher these days, i haven't been to see him in over a year, and he doesn't really do email, so i've decided that realistically i should start looking for a new one in my area because i'm struggling with some practice issues and getting instruction once a year or less is not enough...
also, how in the world do i know if i'm wasting my time or not? can one ever really know? if a teacher is simply really good at playing the part, but has no real insight, how can i tell? not to contradict myself, but i'm very certain my most recent teacher was the real deal, but then again, how can i know for sure?
There have been several excellent answers above, and I don't feel inclined to contradict any of them.
Here is one radical suggestion I don't think anyone suggested yet: moving closer to this teacher. Twenty years ago, I uprooted everything and moved to be closer to a teacher. Gave up a job, gave up an affordable place to live in NYC, gave up a romance, moved hundreds of miles. This did not turn out how I expected, but it's one of the best decisions I've ever made.
I understand there are probably a million very practical reasons that moving closer to your teacher seems crazy and impractical. And perhaps it truly is impossible. However, maybe it isn't. Spend a little time with that idea.
If you are worried about wasting your time, beware of wanting something from your practice. A sense of urgency is good. Your questions are good, too. Keep practicing. And as for the next question -- if you keep practicing, you'll smell whether a teacher is full of it or not. You'll also notice there are teachers and teachings everywhere.