Lives of Thai Buddhist Teachers : Self-adjustment under
the Unrest Situation in the Three Southern Border Provinces
The purpose of this study was to investigate lives of Thai Buddhist teachers in terms of self-adjustment under the unrest situation in the three Southern border provinces. The data were collected through observations and in-depth interviews with 33 Thai Buddhist teachers and 15 related people by purposive and convenience sampling methods from schools inside and outside the red zone. The data were analyzed descriptively. The study found that under the unrest situation, Thai Buddhist teachers adjusted themselves in various ways depending on the conditions in the area. In spending their lives at home, teachers from all areas were alert, watchful, and neutral, expressed their worries through modern media, were indifferent in any conflicts, tolerated when being hurt, and adhered mentally to their faith. In commuting between home and school, they did it abruptly by disguising so that others cannot tell whether they are Buddhists or Muslims, tried to understand the situation on the road, and changed their vehicles and routes. In spending their lives at school, they tried to strictly keep standards in judging students, gave warnings to their fellow teachers, gave answers that help preventing unwanted incidents, built humors, adjusted classrooms, built fantasies, avoided armed protective officers, and wore their uniforms less frequently or stopped wearing them. Self-adjustments among Buddhist teachers were creatively coping with the situation and avoiding or withdrawing from it. More avoiding or withdrawing methods were found in the red zone than the non-red. These behaviors were unbalanced self-adjustments. Teachers who were faced with problems or obstacles were unable to solve them but they had ways of reducing stress, worries or fear. However, traces of unhappiness will always exist if the unrest situation continues.
Keywords : lives of Thai Buddhist teachers, self-adjustment, three Southern border provinces