I try to be not only a good teacher but also a good friend for my students.
- I tell them that they can call me by my first name even in the formal colloquiums.
- I give them a personal phone number to call me about their math questions anytime.
- I try to spend some time each week/month for riding bicycles or watching a match with them.
- I ask about their possible personal problems and offer my help when I think there is a meaningful descending change on their grades.
- And so on.
Once one of my colleges told me:
You pay too much attention to your students. They are just a part of your job as a university teacher. Your informal relations with students could be harmful for you and makes our job too hard because they expect all of us to treat them as like as you but we cannot respond this expectation properly and so they will think that we don't care them.
Question. How formal should I be as a university teacher? Can my informal behavior with my students have some disadvantages for me, my colleges, my students and my department?