Remember the time when you had a really good talk with your teacher and felt that you had found a friend? Or when your professor explained a concept that had been baffling you for weeks? Times like this are when you really bond with your teacher/mentor. Read on about what some students have to say about their relationship with the faculty members in college and how it has changed since their school days.

Monisha, III year BL (Hons), Dr Ambedkar Law University, School of Excellence in Law, Chennai

College teachers have a good knowledge of the subject. While we cannot expect the same from guest and supplementary faculty, most of the regular faculty have master’s or Ph.D in the subject and so know it well. This is useful for the students. Ilaiyaraja sir is the favourite among many students. His lectures on student rights are very inspiring. His approach to methodology and interpretation of the law are really good.

In school, teachers used to be very strict. In college, teachers are more liberal. But here also there is a different kind of pressure. The teachers in college have a better knowledge on dealing with adolescence. They are friendly and get to know their students’ capacities well. We are more comfortable with them.

Karunyashri, II year M.A. (Social Work), Loyola College, Chennai

Recently, I wished some professors on Raksha Bandhan, and in fact some of them wished me first. It has never happened in school.

In our college, professors take groups of students to the movies, to the canteen and we have a good time. We are free to talk to them about many things, like films for example, and not just the curriculum.

I have done my schooling in Madurai and Namakkal. In school, students are treated as kids. The relationship between teachers and students is very formal and they expect you to respect them. In college, life is not so much marks-oriented. Professors are closer to your age, and they treat you more like friends.

Abhinav, Final year, Tagore Dental College, Chennai

In college, the relationship between students and faculty is very professional. There seems to be no room for feelings and emotions. We are here to learn and only learn. School was different. I had a physics teacher who was also my class teacher. We used to talk about our families, and when she saw that I was struggling with studies, gave me extra help.

In college, we are expected to handle our difficulties as we are treated like adults. If something goes wrong, even parents are called. In school even if there is any trouble, rarely is the matter taken to the parents. Teachers usually try to sort out the problem themselves. With most of the Profs the comfort level has just not set in, but some of them are really cool and you can talk to them about anything.

In college there is no room for play, at least in professional colleges. We should be given time for cultural meets or games at least once a month.

Shreya, III year, Balaji Medical College, Chennai

In medical college, there are more professors than we had in school, but we see them only once a week or so. In school, teachers know us personally, we are a lot closer to them. We would see the teachers everyday.

The Profs are also busy and have their own clinics so it is impossible to get to know them like we did our teachers in school. In a way that is good because everyone is treated alike and there is no room for partiality. We do approach them when we have doubts, and they help us.

Shruti, Third Year, Integrated M.Sc., Indian Institute for Science Education and Research, Pune

IISER is like a second home to me and I really love it here. I have chosen math and physics as my specialisations. School was much more informal and my relationship with the teachers was such that I knew who their children were. This is not the case in college, but the relationship is different.

For example, in the first semester I used to have long discussions on physics with the physics lab instructor. I asked a question and then we had a long discussion on it, and he asked me a counter question, and it went on. Finally he revealed it was an open research problem.

So it is very easy to talk to the teachers here about the subject. They are all active in research and so they know it well. In school this may not have been the case.

I do know a few Profs with whom I can talk about anything.