I have been thinking about this question for a while and did a few googling here and there; but, didn't get anything good. Probably, academia could help.

I am early in my teaching career as a lecturer (I am just 25 now) and also working towards my PhD.

My classes are very interactive and I sometimes become very friendly with my students. Sometimes, I make difficult theory so simple for them to understand in their own language or sense. Maybe that is good for students. However, it kills a lot of my time inside the class.

Sometimes, I can feel that students are trying to take undue advantages of this friendly behavior of mine. They try to become very frank when the papers are evaluated. They just sometimes make my time horrible so that they get a better mark than they deserve. Is it the outcome of my style of teaching?

In general, should a young lecturer be friendly with his/her students, either inside a class or outside of class?

I have felt that here students are more focused on grades than learning something new. (I am making it generalized; however, ratio-wise it is true)

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    I always go by 'be friendly, but not familiar' – user65092 Nov 19 '16 at 10:30
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    Sure, by all means be friendly - maintain a rapport, but keep a 'professional distance'. Set yourself some lesson goals, outline these goals at the start of a lesson and stick to them. Put the onus on problem solving on the students by focusing on what skills they need to develop (alongside the knowledge base) – user65092 Nov 19 '16 at 11:00
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    I have made the mistake of being too friendly with my students while being a TA. They didn't take their homeworks and projects seriously as they should have been. I advice you to keep the distance. – Nikey Mike Nov 19 '16 at 12:07
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    Stuff I wish I'd read when starting out: Krantz's "How to Teach Mathematics", Bain's "What the Best College Teachers Do", "How Learning Works". – Daniel R. Collins Nov 19 '16 at 14:38
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    @MikeyMike When I was a TA, I was quite good friends with many of my students, and none of them ever tried to take advantage of our relationship. I can certainly imagine situations where it can take away from your effectiveness as a teacher, but in certain school/cultures, I think there is little problem. – Kimball Nov 20 '16 at 0:44

Krantz in How to Teach Mathematics does actually want to become friends with his students (Sec. 3.1, Breaking the Ice):

Since I so enjoy a class once we have all become friends, I find the period of tooling up to that happy steady state generally too long and too painful. What usually happens is that there is a period of two to five weeks during which the students look at me as though I am from Mars... You should consider ways to make yourself seem like a human being to your students... Find some way to open up to your students so that they will open up to you... My view is that you should show students from day one that you are a person, and that you are going to spend the term doing your best to communicate with them.

But elsewhere gives this warning (Section 2.10, Grading):

You do not want to develop the reputation among students as an instructor with whom grades can be negotiated. I've had this rep, and I don't know how I got it... This process is unpleasant and (can be) degrading both for you and the student. Doing a careful job of grading in the first place, and posting carefully written solutions for students to see, can help to assuage much of student discomfort with grades.

Now, Krantz is a teacher "of long experience" (Sec. 3.1), and I can see this being interpreted differently/incorrectly if you are close in age to your students. Also, this will vary based on your institution and quality/maturity of students that you're getting. In my experience at community colleges, the strategy I was forced to start using early on was to be relatively strict at the start of the semester (adamantly not allowing any bit of variation from the course policies when students test them), and then becoming a bit more flexible and friendly later in the semester.

Added: More Krantz (Section 5.9, Begging and Pleading):

It really is true that if you look and/or act like a student then students will find you more approachable. They will more readily come to you with propositions that they wouldn't consider broaching with a more wizened (or older) faculty member. In short, younger faculty are more vulnerable. This is one reason for dressing differently from students and maintaining a slight distance. Again, this may sound cold. But I speak here from hard personal experience.

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    Your experience which you shared last will be very helpful to me. Thanks for the post. Next semester i should try. (+1) – Coder Nov 19 '16 at 18:29

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