Partnership in the business sense, maybe, just not in any equal-footing competitive way. They're doing for you what you pay them for, just like they would with any other student. Don't get me wrong, on some level I consider my teachers 'friends', at least no more or less than anyone else I know. I don't have a problem socializing, though it's not really 'done' at my current studio (which is fine, alleviates any guilt about running off to visit with my old studio. But as far as competing goes, they're my teachers, they're just doing their job.